Well…. yeah. I mean, who wouldn’t, right? Except doesn’t being a hero involve, you know, danger, possible injury to self, maybe burning buildings, stuff like that?
Actually, no, it doesn’t. I mean, it can, of course, and I’m not in any way going to dis the people who do really big heroic stuff, the stuff that makes the papers and involves saving lives and things like that. They have my deep, deep gratitude and admiration.
But here’s a thing: you think that being a hero is either the burning building thing or nothing? Geez, why do you always have to think in polarities? The scope for heroics between nothing and saving somebody from drowning is vast. What I’m trying to tell you is you don’t have to wait for a building to catch on fire to be a hero. There are limitless opportunities.
When I give my granddaughter a gift that lights up her soul, I am a hero in her eyes. When my daughter and son-in-law show their son they understand exactly what he’s going through and will help him solve his problem, they are his heroes.
When my daughter agrees to not only get up at an un-holy hour to take me to the airport, but also agrees to pick me up at midnight on my return, she’s my hero.
How about when you make a special trip to get $10 to give to the homeless person on the side of the road, no strings, knowing they will use it exactly how they need it no matter what? You’re a hero.
Sometimes getting out of bed and facing the job that feels like it’s sucking the life out of you is unbelievably heroic.
Oh or wait. How’s this: If you walk down the street smiling at the people you meet, that one small thing may mean the world to someone, and you may never know.
Huh. Isn’t this hero business kind of tricky? I mean, how do you know when it’s time to step up and be a hero?
Here’s what I think: it’s all about how you feel. Being a day-to-day hero feels so good, it just opens up your heart. Once you’ve experienced it, you kinda want to feel it again. And that’s the trick.
An open heart allows the Divine that is within you to touch the Divine in another, and … things change. The Divine in that other person now has an opportunity to touch the Divine in someone else. Suddenly we have a whole world of day-to-day heroes.
So why don’t you spend some time each day living with an open heart? You can plan for it – the I-have-to-walk-to-the-post-office-so-I’ll-smile-at-everyone gig. Or you could hide a post-it note in some library books that says ‘You are awesome!’ on it. Or you could try to be alert for opportunities, like noticing someone who looks lost and offering to help.
Yeah, but, you say, you expect me to do this with my over-demanding boss who makes my day a living hell? Do you have any idea how hard that is? What if he just snarls at me? What if it gets worse?
Nobody said it had to be easy, but it often is. When you find out it can be fun, and just make you feel so good, well that’s such a nice side effect it’ll just make you get addicted to the whole thing. You can start with the easy stuff, and do it forever if you want. And if you practice enough on the easy stuff, when you get to the hard one you’ll be amazed at what you can do – and what happens next.