"No, I’ll never be a hero, but ...": by CURTIS OWENS

‘If you’re asked to be a hero, be the hero’
--Benjamin ‘The Walking Dead’

I was always a big fan of The Walking Dead tv show on AMC. At some point, I lost my way with it, but have recently been trying to get back into it. While watching an episode the other day, a character repeated the line above as a lesson taught by his father, and it struck me as a truth.

Let me say up front that I am not, and never have been, a hero. That role, in my mind, is filled by first responders, military, and those selfless souls that give of themselves without regard, for the benefit of those hurt, in harms way, or that are somehow less fortunate than others. I’ve never been personally strong in any of those categories.

Also, I believe we throw way too many superlatives around in our day to day lives. For example: ‘My kids are amazing!’ ‘My car is fantastic!’ ‘My job is wonderful!’ Really? Is everyday TRULY the best day of your life? Most days we are all just trying to get through.

I don’t want to consider ‘hero’ just another descriptor of the day to day. I don’t want to cheapen what that word means or the absolute sacrifice of those that live that life daily, so that the rest of us maintain our health, safety and security.

Not everyone is a hero.

However, I honestly believe that we all can do heroic things sometimes. This may mean providing a meal to the homeless, shelter to those less fortunate, tutoring or mentoring a struggling child or young adult. Also, it could be volunteering for your local church, youth or community organization, or sponsoring or planning an event for your town, neighborhood, or favorite charity.

By giving of your time, money or other resources, you may truly change the life of others. You may make a difference in this world for us all. Isn’t that something we all should be striving for? To make that difference?

I hope for myself that I will, if needed, respond heroically to those in need. To not consider personal harm or safety to help and protect those in peril.

I may never be a hero. I do hope, however, to perform small heroic acts for others and make a true difference in their lives. To inspire and to encourage others to do the same.

That may not be today, or tomorrow, but I do hope I can do something when called upon. Not to be a hero perhaps, not to earn awards or medals, but to know that I’ve done what I can for the benefit of others. No, I’ll never be a hero, but to receive a hug of gratitude, a smile of thanks, a tearful handshake of appreciation, even if not heroic, that would be enough for me.