I am finding out that this is a diversely located group, so far I've learned some are from the UK, USA, and India . If you have time and want a good read, check out the other members contributions. It always amazes me how people can see the same subject but come up with different interpretations.
HEROESOne meaning that Webster's dictionary gives for "Heroes" is "people noted for courageous acts or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed their life".
The nobility of purpose intrigued me. I tried to think of people who have " a nobility of purpose". Some of the most famous are Joan of Ark, Nicodemus, Martin Luther King, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mother Teresa, and George Bush's handling of 09/11/01 or Winston Churchill during World War II.
But what about the everyday heroes? The neighbor next door who runs into a burning house to save a child. I love the television commercial where a woman observes a person helping another, which encourages her to help someone. She's observed by a man, who then helps someone. So just doing something for someone could end up helping others throughout the day. For the life of me I can't tell you the product the commercial is selling, but I do remember the music, the caring and the helping.
Another everyday hero was my tenth grade English teacher, Miss Blansit. If you were to need someone to play the part in a movie of a perfect English teacher, she would be the one. She was about five feet eight inches tall, trim in the suits she wore with black pumps and ivory colored silk blouses, on her nose she wore a pair of black rimmed glasses. Her hair was cut short and had waves. She also had a sense of humor and was able to interest her class in Shakespeare. Her encouragement led me to writing. She praised my work which gave me confidence. I don't know the story as to why she never married. She was attractive enough, even at sixty-two, when I knew her. I would sometimes try to come up with stories, such as her fiance was killed in World War II. She loved him so much, he was her soul mate, therefore she never married. Whatever the reason, it never interfered with her love for her students. She loved her job and the subject she taught. I'm sure there are a few students who grew to adulthood and followed their dream all because of Miss Blansit's encouragement.
I also want to include my Dad as an everyday hero. He was the oldest of seven children. He was born in 1916, Buck's Pocket, Alabama.
Clifford Harper 1917
Clifford Harper, age 4, 1920
As a lot of people during that time, his family were farmers, barely making a living. They moved around renting land, then farming it. His Dad and my granddad wasn't exactly the stay at home type, this made matters more difficult when his mother, Manila Harper died. Dad was seventeen, at the time of her death, with six younger siblings. He and his older sister Mavis became the caretakers of the family.
After finishing the seventh grade, he quit school to find a job. Seven years later he joined the Army. His results from some of the Army tests showed his IQ off the charts at that time. It was around 140.
He came back from the war, married my Mom and raised another family, only there were just four of us. He worked hard all his life. When he was thirty-seven, he suffered an arm injury that removed all but his thumb and index finger, though these were also mangled, he did get to where he could pick up and hold items with them.
He two liked to laugh and it was so much fun being around him, his brothers and sisters.
Clifford Harper 1940
Clifford Harper with his injured hand, 1955
He was a workaholic which was devastating when he had to retire. He didn't know what to do with himself. There were times he literally gave away the shirt off his back to help someone. He touched lives in ways that people remembered him. When he died in 1982, the funeral home overflowed with people who came to pay their respect. He was loved and greatly missed after his death.
Heroes come in all sizes, gender and ways. A father can be a hero because he was there for you. A school teacher is a hero because she encourages a very shy girl to reach for the stars. A football coach is one bacause he helps a poor young boy to build on his abilities and go to college. There are so many everyday heroes, just stop and observe the helping, then pass it on.