Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Be a Hero


Recently, I read in the news of a man heading home on the freeway and seeing an accident up ahead. One of the vehicles involved in the crash caught fire, trapping a woman inside.

Though the man wasn’t a trained firefighter or rescuer, he acted. He pulled over, stopped his own car, then pulled the woman out of her car. He said he’d seen on television how cars can explode when they’re on fire, and he couldn’t just leave her there.

Pretty dramatic story, isn’t it? In one fell swoop, this man earned enough “hero points” to last him a lifetime.

Yet, even with all the drama such stories inherently contain, one common thread I notice in all such accounts is this:

The ordinary people who save others from imminent danger reject the label we put on them. They refuse to be called a hero.

They often say they were just in the right place at the right time and that anybody else would have (hopefully) done the same thing.

What about you?

Have you been a hero to someone? Are you a hero to someone now?

A hero doesn’t have to be someone who rescues someone from a burning car or building. A hero can be someone who is just at the right place at the right time.

The circumstances can be mundane and completely not newsworthy, yet still impact someone else’s life in dramatic ways.

My dad is such a hero. Though I know he would risk his life to save someone from imminent death or bodily injury by fire, I can’t think of a time he’s ever rescued anyone from a car fire. Yet, he’s been steadily building up “hero points” day after day, year after year.

He’s been there to encourage me to do my best, and he’s always thought far better of me than I’ve felt of myself. He tells me, too. By word and example, he’s shown me that he places such great faith in me that no matter if I feel like I’ve failed in a particular endeavor, he always sees me as a success.

And, even with eight children (me being the youngest) and a wife who often required round the clock care, he still found ways to serve others outside the family. He served with distinction but without fanfare. He never got a medal for his heroism, yet to many people, he most definitely is a hero.

How about you?

Can you be a hero to someone today?

Can you encourage them to be there best?

Can you see them as a success even if they feel like they’ve failed?

Who can you be a hero to?

Do you have a child or children you can serve, motivate and cheer on, even if it's not your own child?

Do you have a sibling or a parent you can quietly but meaningfully serve?

What about your coworkers or neighbors? Could they use someone in their lives that sees them at their worst but treats them like they’re at their best?

How can you earn “hero points” by serving someone else today?

I challenge you to find someone to serve today. Find someone to be a hero to. Find someone to encourage, to uplift. Even if you can find one person and help them one time in some small and simple way, you’ve met the challenge.

Be someone’s hero.

And remember, Service is the Action Form of Love.

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