Lately, so many people have been talking about heroes. From Sully the Unsinkable Pilot to President Obama to the guy who saved yet another pedestrain from a horrible train crushing… and then went on, less than 24 hours later, to help rescue people from a burning apartment building.
But how many of us have the chance to save 155 jetliner passengers? Or have the skills, even if we had the chance? Most of us wouldn’t want to be president, at least not right now.
So what is everyday heroism? Even saving stumblers from trains or sleepers from their burning beds isn’t an everyday occurence for most of us.
Can we be heroes without tragedies playing out around us? Even in my books, my heroes are confronted with ample opportunity to play the part as the world goes to hell. Literally.
Still, I believe in daily acts that create heroes. Small, simple, maybe forgettable things. Here’s what I’ve seen in the last few days:
- A guy was out walking his dog. They came to the corner to cross the street. The guy paused. The dog sat and looked up at his person. The man put his hand on the dog’s head, and the dog did that doggie smile thing. That guy must be a hero. At least to his dog.
- We had a pie contest at my day job. There were over a dozen pies. One of the judges looked a little overwhelmed at the number of slices in front of him. But with a fresh fork for each pie, he would take a bite, sit and think, nod to himself, and only then move on to the next. Each pie had his undivided attention. Okay, that sounds a little odd as far as heroism goes.
- My XY was in his basement lair, practicing guitar. He came up to interrupt my writing session kiss me on his break. He said, “I rocked the dome tonight.” I said, “Er.” He said, “If it was a dome, I would have rocked it.” And he went down to practice some more. Because when he plays, every night is the dome, even in the basement.
As my story heroes race to save the world, they could stand to learn a few lessons from these people I see in the every-day. A small kindness. Dedication in the face of enormity. E for effort.
Not really heroic in the sense of monuments. But real all the same.