Being A Hero

It only seems appropriate that I write about super heroes since it will be Halloween in less than 12 hours.I was asked to speak to a group last week about being heroes in our homes. It made me think about superheroes that rescue and save lives. Is that what we are doing in our homes? There are other qualities other than saving lives, like: inspiring, taking a stand for something you believe in despite of conflict, support and help.
We hear almost daily of athletes breaking records; scientists inventing marvelous new devices,and machines, and doctors saving lives in new ways. We are constantly being exposed to exceptionally gifted musicians and entertainers, also to the work of talented artists, architects, and builders. Media in all forms, billboards, magazines, tv commercials bombard us with the perfect people, white teeth, flawless features, wearing great clothes and doing whatever it is that successful people do.
We are constantly exposed to the world’s definition of success and greatness. We might fall into the trap of comparing ourselves between what we are and what others are, or our interpretation of what they seem to be. Because of these feelings we may dwell on our failures while ignoring aspects of our lives that may contain elements of true greatness.
Joseph F. Smith said;” Those things which we call extraordinary, remarkable, or unusual may make history, but they do not make real life. After all, to do well those things which God ordained to be the common lot of all mankind, is the truest greatness. To be a successful father or a successful mother is greater than to be a successful general or a successful statesman.” We do not wear a cape and tights and have a super emblem around our neck but we are each heroes in our own lives each day. When we do our best in the face of the commonplace struggles of life, and possibly in the face of failures, and continue to endure and persevere with the ongoing difficulties of life we are living breathing heroes. Sometimes those struggles and tasks we take on contribute to the progress and happiness of others – this is true greatness.
I have witnessed my nephew experience cancer at the early age of 5 with true courage and greatness. I have a friend who’s daughter is suffering with a bone marrow transplant failure presently fighting for her life and others cheering and encouraging her to keep going. My brother lives with chronic pain and keeps looking for the rainbow at the end of each new procedure. A young friend of mine that I met with this week is fighting heroin addiction. It doesn’t take much to become a hero these days in the turmoil that faces each individual life.
I have had heroes in my lifetime or others I have looked up to that mostly have helped me through hard times. They are my mom, Christ, Mother Teresa, St Francis of Assisi, Joseph and Emma Smith, Joan of Arc, Alma. These are a few. Why are they my heroes? Because they each one took a stand for something they believed in despite the conflict and ridicule they received from others. They served God and others with their belief and inspiration and did not give up. There are those daily heroes ; soldiers, teachers, nurses, farmers, those who clothe, feed and mother the children of the world and lift and love. I know I struggled for awhile whether I should mention my Christian beliefs in my writing on this blog. When I started thinking about my heroes that is what they did without fear. Thus, I openly profess my belief in God and Jesus Christ. Christ went about doing good, yet was despised for it. His gospel was a message of peace and goodwill. We would do well to follow His example.
True greatness is not the result of a one-time effort or achievement. Heroes do not save a life then walk away and sit on the beach the rest of their days. It requires the development of character. Donald Miller my favorite author said “The point of life is character transformation and to make the most of our life story and a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it has a good story. ” Over the years the choices we make and bundle together show what we value.
Howard W. Hunter said “As we evaluate our lives, it is important that we look, not only at our accomplishments, but also at the conditions under which we have labored. We are all different and unique individuals; we have each had different starting points in the race of life; we each have a unique mixture of talents and skills; we each have our own set of challenges and constraints to contend with. Therefore, our judgment of ourselves and our achievements should not merely include the size or magnitude and number of our accomplishments; it should also include the conditions that have existed and the effect that our efforts have had on others. ” My take on that is “be easy on yourselves” don’t compare yourself with the latest super hero or super mom or neighbor or sister or friend, accept who you are with all your flaws and perfections. Look at your own greatness.
Create inspiring, noble, and lofty goals that ignite your imagination and create excitement and burning in your heart. Keep your eye on them on your vision boards if you have one. Henry David Thoreau wrote ” If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”Carefully select heroes that can give us a pattern for our lives and serve as role models. They can give us courage to walk our path in life. We can make a declaration ourselves, of who and what we want to be. Take a stand for those you love and what you believe in.