This weeks spin is about heroes. Or, as Sprite's Keeper put it "those whose bravery or heroics have influenced" me. If you want a sample of heroes from other bloggers, go see Sprite's Keeper at the link above.
As for me, I shall assume my position upon my soap box (stop cringing, PB, you've heard this all before).
To me, heroes are not people who sign up for traditional heroic jobs. Policemen, firemen, soldiers. Yes, I'm thankful that they do their job, but I'm also thankful that my broker does his job. The point being, it's their job. They signed up for it. The people who consider these people to be heroes simply for their job really kind of tick me off.
For instance, the police and firemen who assisted in the 9/11 attacks. Not my heroes. Going into that building was their job. Do I feel bad for the ones who fell that day? Yes, but no more so than for all the innocent people who went to work that day and died in the wreckage. Maybe more so for the others. Firemen go to work each day knowing they might die. Secretaries and accountants don't. They didn't sign up for that krappe. It just happened to them. So, you'll excuse me if I didn't put a single cent into the "widows and children's" fund for the fallen officers. Those women and kids made millions. It was shameful. Nobody talked about the IT guy who didn't go home that night. What happened to his kids? I saw very few fundraisers for them. Nobody interviewed their wives over the loss. The people who helped the others down the stairs that day? They're my heroes. The three guys who caused a plane to crash in Pennsylvania instead of some large city? They're my heroes.
And the people over in Iraq right now? Keep in mind that they signed up for that a long time ago. And before there was a war they got paid a regular check to show up one weekend a month and two weeks a year to do some training. This is what they got paid all those years for. Am I glad and thankful that they were willing to go? Yes. Are they heroes? No.
But by now you're thinking, "Ok, you ungrateful wench, who are your heroes?". I'll tell you.
My heroes are the people who get up every day and make it happen. People like my friend Janice. Janice has been quite ill since the first day I met her. Almost 8 years ago. She's had more surgeries than I have fingers. She has been told multiple times that she has less than a year to live. But she gets up each day and goes to work. She sends us all funny e-mail. She's a shoulder to cry on if something bad happens, and the first to congratulate when something good happens. You'd never know she's ill. She's my hero.
My friend Mrs. M is my hero. I was friends with her son during high school. For years, she struggled to make ends meet to support two boys on a teacher's salary while her alcoholic husband roamed the country trying to "find" himself. She wore two pairs of stockings, each with one leg cut off, when they got a run- to save money. She went to church each Sunday, and put money in the collection. She baked pies for fund raisers, and volunteered her "free" time organizing her church's "Junk for Jesus" sale. When my Mom was horribly ill, she was there for me. I ate dinner at her house more than my own. She came to my sports games, and in my freshman year of college she came to parents weekend. Because my own parents couldn't. She shared everything she possibly could with those around her. She taught me strength and caring in a way no one else could have. She's my hero.
And there are lots of others. People leading every day lives that smile in the face of adversity. Those are heroes.
And I have other heroes that are more general. Here's a short list:
-The guy in line who's in a hurry but let's the pregnant lady, or the lady with two crying kids go first to help her out.
- The moms and dads who sit on the side line silently saying "You can do it" to their kid, instead of yelling at the coach. The ones who say after their kid loses, "What can you do next time to make it better?", instead of saying, "The ref made bad calls." As Jan from the Sushi bar said, the parents who teach their kids that in real life, not every one gets a medal.
-The teacher who calls me just to say that my kid is doing really well, and she enjoys having him around.
- My friends who say, "Is it a kid friendly place?" when they consider where to go for a group dinner.
"Courage is not limited to the battlefield, or the Indianapolis 500 or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are the inner tests, like remaining faithful when nobody is looking, like enduring pain when the room is empty, like standing alone when you're misunderstood" Charles Swindoll