The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.

~ Bertrand Russell ~

Who Are Your Heroes?

September 30th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 22 secs

We all need heroes.

What’s a hero when they’re home? Somebody courageous? People who can climb trees to rescue kittens, extinguish house fires, or wrestle down crocodiles? Or, do heroes have something more besides?

Although many Australians aren’t into heroes, there are lots of good reasons to have them. For starters, doesn’t everyone benefit from looking up to someone for inspiration and the motivation to do more in life?

Personally, I’ve never been one for super heroes or those wielding magic powers. To me, they aren’t relatable.  Instead, I admire more down to earth citizens who surprise themselves with their own abilities. Like the elderly woman who, being sick of living life shut in, gets a social club going to support others. Or, the worthy employer who trusts his gut and dares to give somebody a fresh start. These people are real heroes in a day-to-day way, going above and beyond what most bother to do.

I like to think of my heroes whenever I’m feeling challenged. They remind me that we can all be more if we decide to reach higher. Being supplied with the basics, the only limitation that actually matters is our thinking. Think petty and guess what you get? Think bravely and suddenly life begets potential. That’s why I’m certain we each have the ability to be heroic too. It’s just that it’s all too easy to settle for less in life and forget that giving our best is essential for living well.

My heroes weren’t perfect. They had flaws. Yet, their achievements continue to capture me, implying you don’t have to wait for some ideal tide before setting off, and making the most of your life. Just get out and be and do what you believe in.

Who are my heroes? Well they’re a mixed bag really. Without thinking too hard, some of my known heroes include:

  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the famous German thinker and writer
  • Viktor Frankl, the Viennese psychiatrist, who survived the holocaust to give us a better way of thinking
  • William Shakespeare, the brilliant playwright, who transformed the world through his plays and use of language
  • Lady Jane Franklin –19th Century woman with a 21st Century vision who turned her part of the world on its head
  • Peter Ustinov – actor, director, writer, wit, raconteur, who was a model of intelligent compassion

If I gave it more thought, I’d remember a much bigger selection of famous folk. But it’s Sunday and the household is settling down for the night. So they’ will “have to do”.

Still, there are other heroes dear to me too, though nobody will ever know their names. They are folk who, collectively, have given me countless kindnesses. Going out of their way to be gracious, helpful, and wise, they remain with me as people I admire. Together, they form a noble composite of so much that’s lovely in humanity. Each is a hero (at least to me). For, being so filled with the milk of human kindness, they have left a lasting impression.

Heroes of all forms have one thing in common. Daring, they go beyond what’s reasonable for the sake of what they believe in. Whether risking life and limb, courageously speaking out, or helping beyond fair expectations, heroes, in whatever endeavors, have the courage to follow their heart.

Are You An Ordinary Hero?

We’re With You Neil Armstrong

You Are Such An Inspiration


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