Several years ago our six-year-old granddaughter, our four-year-old twin grandsons and a young friend of theirs and I gathered together for a poetry fun-shop. But before we got into the fun part I asked them to spend a few minutes talking about who their heroes are, a really heavy subject for such young folks. But as I get older and wiser, I'm discovering that we are short-changing our little ones terribly. Out of the mouths of babes come discriminating and perceptive thoughts. And they don't hesitate to tell you, too!
I asked them if they knew any people they considered special enough to imitate. Well, a huge silence ensued so I decided to share my wisdom of the ages, rather, my old-age wisdom. Seeing who gets all the publicity in the papers, I've always thought the "little person" lands on the very low end of the scale. So we talked about the "little person" and what he or she does, and what makes him or her a hero.
1. The true hero is willing to take responsibility for his or her actions.
2. The true hero drops the "victim" cloak and goes on with duties, whether it's raining or not. S/he doesn't expect the government to hand out raincoats or, better yet, stop the rain. After all, let's get real here!
3. The true hero doesn't cry if the prize isn't in the box, and s/he for sure doesn't sue the company!
4. The true hero gets out of bed every morning no matter how s/he feels and gets on with life and kids and work. It may not pay today but it will surely pay high dividends in ten or twenty years from now.
5. The true hero knows that bad things happen to good people. As Mort Crim so aptly stated: "Once we accept the fact that bad things do happen to good people, then we can get on with the business of living life to the fullest: giving, loving, creating, sharing, building, walking through every door of opportunity offered by this fragile, unpredictable, exciting experience called life."
6. The true hero can make a decision and stand by it. This takes more courage than we realize.
7. The true hero gives 110% if that is what is needed.
8. The true hero keeps promises. Only a child knows how important this is.
9. The true hero never complains. This is where we separate the heroes from us ordinary folks!
10. The true hero loves in spite of instead of spite!
Patricia Erwin Nordman