There is a hero inside of you

A while ago I had the opportunity to watch the movie Sully: Miracle on the Hudson, where a pilot, Sully Sullenberger, landed a U.S. Airways flight in the Hudson River in New York City that was disabled after hitting a flock of Canadian geese. He was called a national hero after all 155 of the passengers and crew survived. What choices did he make at that moment that resulted in such a joyful end to what could have been a disaster? He decided and made the personal choice to place every single person’s life on that plane at the highest regard. He elected to also protect the tens of thousands of lives that may have perished if the flight had crashed into midtown Manhattan. He did what needed to be done when it needed to be done without even an inch of doubt. I am sure Sully did not think about the press conference later that afternoon.

Heroism and human imperfection

Heroism evokes thoughts of remarkable bravery and extraordinary selflessness; men and women who soar above what is simple and expected. Heroism is gloriously embodied during times of significant challenge and duress.

Heroes recklessly place their lives and well-being in peril, in spite of the obvious danger. Heroes are unduly dedicated to the greater good. Heroes fight for what is right. Heroes are brave and steadfast; they dedicate themselves to others.

When we consider Heroism, we tend to associate what it takes to become a hero with the ever-elusive ideal of near or total Perfection: a radically supreme example of limitless human potential; a flawless and idyllic embodiment of Good. It seems as if, for an ordinary person to become a real, live hero, he or she must pursue human Perfection. But outside of the realm of fantasy, real Heroism oft and ironically begins with flaw, fault, and setback: hero stories are actually written in natural human Imperfection. Do you believe that a hero can be found in you in spite of all your human imperfections?

If not you then who?

A hero is someone who “we” determine to have demonstrated behaviours and decisions that are ethically and emotionally worthy of our awe. We see in them something we think is not in us. Given similar conditions, we “think” we might not make the same moves and decisions they do, so we place them in an elevated place in society or in our minds. 

Let’s face it. The world needs heroes. It needs people who will be courageous and act on principle. But where can we find such people? Maybe the answer is closer than we think. The truth is it can start—and must start—with us.

God has providentially put each of us exactly where we are. We need to ask, “Why am I here?” “What does God want me to do in this situation?” “What is the right thing to do?”It is easy to underestimate the power of one person’s influence. We think, “What can I do?” I am only one person. The truth is that each of us wields far more power than we could possibly imagine.

Since the beginning of time many of our heroes were warriors who over-powered those who would try to harm or take from us the things that we cherished. We automatically bestow heroic honours to those who fight for us. However, very often a single person will emerge from the joint heroes to be elevated to hero. He or she has demonstrated such courage and honour that they grab the attention of a grateful society. We call them hero and we are compelled to connect with them. Many times, this hero does not understand why they are being exalted merely for doing what they believed and thought was correct and right. They did not think at the moments or during the episode, “if I do this, I will be loved and adored forever”. They simply did what was in them. They placed other people’s wellbeing before and above their own.

What are the characteristics of a hero?

Heroes are unknown. The real heroes are lurking in the background somewhere. They aren’t famous. They’re nobodies. They’re the shepherd David, defending the flock and longing for a fight.

Heroes are ordinary. At the beginning of the story, our heroes appear to be losers in life, seemingly not doing anything of consequential importance.

Heroes become heroes through adversity. At the beginning of the story, their skills are untested. Conflict must draw out the courage of a hero.

Heroes show up at the 11th hour. It’s not until the last moment when all hope seems lost that a hero distinguishes themselves from the rest of the pack. Heroes surprise us.

Heroes push through the fear. They live what we all claim to believe — that courage isn’t absence of fear, but rather facing it. They acknowledge their feelings but rise above them.

Heroes fight for others. Heroes emerge when the innocent are in peril. Heroes fight, not because they want to, but because those whom they love will die if they don’t. It is only when times are tough, when all that they have will be utterly lost, that they emerge ready to fight.

Reframe Adversity

The very essence of bringing out the hero in you is re-framing adversities you’ve faced as battles you’ve survived.Your stories of hurts, losses and failings can become inspirational reminders to you of your resilience and survival. Focus on the strengths and wisdom that have grown in you through the difficulties you’ve faced.

You cannot afford to wait for your circumstances to be perfect. You will never have enough experience. You may never have all the resources you need. Someone else is waiting for a hero. You may be the best opportunity they have. You may be their answer to prayer.So, you may not be able to help everyone. But you can help someone. You have more power than you can imagine because there is a hero inside of you.

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