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Modern day Heroes
When growing up, helping an elderly lady across the street was considered ” common decency “. To jump into a pool, lake or ocean, when a good swimmer, to rescue someone from possible drowning, was considered ” doing the right thing”.
To donate one’s own organ, a kidney for example, was considered ” an act of brotherly/sisterly love “. And a person showing incredible courage to save a people, a nation, a country, was considered a hero.
That was when i was growing up. Nowadays we call someone a hero helping an elderly lady across the street. Or the fellow giving his table neighbor a Heimlich maneuver, which was, when i was growing up, considered ” a fast call to action ” – ” good judgement” and ” thank God he knew what to do”.
Growing up i admired, like many of us, fictional characters in comic strips doing good – courageous men who’d come to the rescue of the little guy. Phantom was one of those comic strips. I myself was always a chicken but could, like many of us, live vicariously through these heroic characters, as though i myself had the guts to speak up – the courage to do the right thing. But whenever i found myself in a situation where i could have done the right thing, my knees would buckle from underneath me.
I didn’t like that about myself and every time i found fault with me, i’d challenge myself to work at it – to try and overcome these weaknesses. Fear of heights, for example. That was my biggest and last fear i needed to conquer. I had terrible fear of heights until i made myself go up the elevator of the Washington monument. I was nauseous, my knees were buckling, my hands shaky and i almost fainted. Then i made myself look out the windows of the Washington monument, telling myself, ” You can do it”. What a view. Since then i’m no longer fearful of heights, either.
Now i, too, can help an elderly lady across the street without my knees buckling from underneath me and be a hero.