The word “hero” is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.
We all need heroes. It’s an innate desire in humans to look up to someone as our role model, mentor, comforter, corrector and protector.
History makers such as Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa are examples of heroes who made a lifelong impact with their stand for equality and for the poor respectively.
There are also many unsung, unassuming heroes in our midst, and these include our parents, teachers, soldiers, firefighters and humanitarian volunteers.
We often look around for heroes. For a change, why not be a ‘hero’ to someone when a situation arises?
1. At home
Scott T. Allison and George R. Goethals conducted a study in 2012 whereby people of all ages were asked to list down their personal heroes. About a third of the time, family members were listed.
Our heroes at home, particularly our parents, need a break once a while. Why not be a hero to them by helping mum with cooking and ironing clothes, and dad with washing his car(s) and mowing the lawn?
When you see your siblings feeling all worn out after a stressful day at work, you can offer a quick massage on their shoulders to relax them.
2. At work
If you are a leader in the marketplace, get to know your people on a more personal level. Heroes, after all, ought to be personal. Otherwise, you’re just an idol on a pedestal, far from your team’s reach.
Stand up for your members if you are aware they are being treated disrespectfully by colleagues or clients. Also, be aware of what motivates or frustrates your people at work.
In a reversal of roles, if you see your leader overwhelmed by too much work, be the first in line to support and fill in the work gaps for him/her.
In their busyness, drop reminders for them not to skip their lunches, or convey words of encouragement when things get tough at work.
Among co-workers, be there for them when they need someone to talk to, and keep discussions private if they are meant to be as such.
Our chances to become heroes are not just limited to our homes and workplace. It can happen anywhere – while you’re crossing the road, driving or out shopping.
We may not have a chance to be Meher Khalil or Captain Chesley Sullenberger in our lifetime, but we can always identify opportunities to perform small heroic acts of kindness and selflessness on a daily basis.
I am reminded by this line from the cover version of the song Heroes, performed by The Wallflowers:
“We can be heroes, just for one day, we can be us, just for one day.”
We can all be heroes indeed, even if it’s just for one day. Are you willing to become one today?
P.S. A special tribute to our mountain heroes who put the safety of climbers above their own in the 2015 Sabah quake.
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