“The simple act of caring is heroic.” – Edward Albert
I found myself thinking about people i’ve met along the way who’ve made an impact in my life. I remember a guy called Heinz from the early 90’s. I hadn’t thought about him in quite a while and hadn’t met him since the mid-90’s.
I wondered what happened to him so after googling around I found him. It said that his birthday had been a couple of days earlier. I just got the urge to write him a letter to explain that he’s partly responsible for me becoming who I am.
A lot of our personality, values and traits come from family but some are shaped by people outside of our immediate spectrum of people.
Heinz was a youth recreation leader who helped me out when my life was in a rough patch. He was one of the first people I admired. When he spoke people listened. He was really driven by values. The biggest thing he did was to not just tell us what to do but lead by example. That’s what I really admired about him.
If we’re lucky enough to walk beside these people for however short a while we can count ourselves blessed. And if we can we should reach out and thank them for giving us these lessons.
Look, I doubt that our heroes have 100% clean records when it comes to personal conduct. We all fall short at times. We’re human. What we should be admiring is that these people have shown us what it means to be courageous.
Whether it’s in a big way like running into a burning building or in that everyday way where we tell people what’s in our mind and in our heart.
Even the smallest heroic act can spread from one person to another who can then spread it on to the next. We can build a soft chain of kindness across the world, it only requires one heroic act followed by another.
I’ll leave you with some quotes by Joseph Campbell. There’s also a great series on heroism and mythology below featuring Bill Moyers & Joseph Campbell.
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.”
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”
Joseph Campbell & Bill Moyers – The Power of Myth