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What is a hero? How can we be a hero? Who are our heroes? Whether a person is determined a hero or not, does not necessarily depend on the degree to which they have inspired a person or a large number of people in some way. Some heroes are invisible. You are a hero of your own story.
WHO ARE SOME OF OUR HEROES?
- Mother Teresa
- Nelson Mandela
- Hank Aaron
- Joan of Arc
- Amelia Earheart
- Jacques Cousteau
- Jonas Salk
- The Wright Brothers
- Oprah Winfrey
- Ansel Adams
- Winston Churchill
- Rosa Parks
- Billy Graham
- Dr. Martin Luther King
- Christopher Columbus
- George Washington
- Abraham Lincoln
- Marlee Matlin
- Lou Gehrig
- Michael J. Fox
- Anne Frank
- Jane Goodall and many, many more.
Then what is a hero? Before his death in 2004, and long after his death, Christopher Reeve, an American actor, film director and activist (1952-2004), like other heros, has been an inspirational living example to others, because of his acceptance and endurance through difficult challenges. According to Christopher Reeve,
“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”
So heroes have their challenges and human qualities just like everyone else. These negative qualities seem to be an important part of being a hero. Do heroes have to suffer and die? Do heroes have to change the world? No, some heroes live and die with very few people knowing who they are.
But every person is a hero who has faced, endured and conquered the negative qualities within. Heroes are fighters. They battle with a variety of different issues, people, and situations. Some negative situations are found deep within the heart, such as coming to terms with our uniqueness despite social or cultural opinions.
Other situations are found outside of us, and we become strong and endure hardship such as disease or poverty.
If you have experienced some of these negative qualities, issues, or situations below, then you can find comfort in knowing that you are half-way there to becoming a hero.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT NEGATIVE QUALITIES OF A HERO?
Heroes have negative qualities within themselves or negative situations surrounding them that surface and allow them to refine and grow into true heroes.
- a gripping overwhelming fear or terror
- general weakness, feebleness or vulnerability
- overwhelming loneliness, melancholia, moodiness, depression
- temptation, yearning, desire, greed, or uncontrollable want
- physical suffering or illness that effects the ability to be happy, healthy and productive
- frustration, bitterness, blame, and resentment that dominates the mind, body and spirit
- hopelessness, lack of faith, and despair that cripples and removes all joy in life
- anger or rage that interferes with the ability to be loving, forgiving, and free
- feelings of rejection, abandonment, and victimization as a result of experiencing unjust actions or treatment
- ignorance or confusion and the inability to logically understand situations or to be able to meet expectations
- ridicule, scorn, and humiliation by strangers, friends or family members
- self hatred, guilt, and shame
- repeated failures, defeat, or losses
The hero can be the school teacher who stays up late at night grading papers and making teaching materials, and decorations for the classroom and who empties her savings account of the money she had saved to buy a new car, and purchases computers for the children. A hero can be a man who has been bedridden for five years but continues to write letters from his bed to poor, homeless children around the world, telling them to always remember that they are special, unique and a gift and blessing to the world.
A hero can be a dog who returns into a flaming building to retrieve its puppies and carry them to safety. A hero is the young man who drives his buddy home from the bar on Saturday night after he notices that his friend has had a little too much to drink. Each of these characters would not a be a hero if they didn’t have doubts, fears, and reservations.
WHAT ARE THE REDEEMING QUALITIES OF HEROES?
Heroes also have redeeming qualities that carry them through difficult, seemingly impossible times. It is the combination of the negative and positive qualities that creates the brilliance we see shining from the hero. This is the hero’s true spiritual essence. Is a hero always known to others? Maybe not. As we’ve already mentioned, many heroes are invisible to others, but their essence an be felt around the world and affects the general health and wellness of the universe.
- compassion, selflessness, charity, and genuine caring for others
- acceptance, forgiveness, and tolerance of others
- contentment, peace, and satisfaction with self and the situation
- patience, composure, endurance, and the ability to wait for the right time and place
- faith, hope, conviction, loyalty, and trust in one’s self
- perseverance, persistence, discipline, resilience, and the ability to never give up and continue to take action despite all circumstances
- courage, fearlessness, bravery, backbone, and the strength and ability to face all fears and negativity
- vision, imagination, realization, inventiveness, creativity, and the ability to look outside of the box for solutions
- gratitude, humility, grace, and the ability to humbly accept weaknesses of self and others
- spirituality, religion, and the ability to surrender to a higher power or higher wisdom
- truth, wisdom, awareness, and true enlightenment beyond what is obvious to the human eyes and ears
- skill, talent, aptitude, and capability to accomplish a task and succeed as a result of disciplined effort
- the ability to experience happiness, joy, laughter, positivity, amazement, and sincere delight in the gift and blessing of life despite its challenges
HOW CAN WE BE HEROES?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hero is “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.”
Each of us have opportunities to be a hero every day, when we accept the invitation from the universe to offer kindness and help. We can be a hero when someone says an unkind word to another person, by offering words of kindness and hope. We can be a hero by walking our dogs in the rain at night when we would rather stay inside where it’s warm, cuddled up in a blanket, next to the fire. We can be a hero by picking up some litter off of the sidewalk and walking across the street to a trashcan to throw it away.
“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around”
~Edgar Watson Howe
Thank you for being a hero. Together we make a difference in the world, by being a hero in our everyday lives.
This article is written by Jean Voice Dart, M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.” She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance. The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit health and wellness education organization. For more information about the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.
Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.
Greetings, MBHA Friends.
A friends of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance sent us this lovely story today about how to see the best in everything, despite the stormy times. This story mentions the word God once, within a quote from a child. MBHA respects all beliefs, however, the point of the story is NOT religious, it’s motivational, and all people can learn from it’s message.
Children open our eyes to the JOY in life. This is a story about learning to keep the delightful viewpoint of youth: To always celebrate life, be playful, have fun, and look for the best. To weather the storm. To use the imagination and look beyond what the eyes and ears see and hear.
“After every storm…the sun will smile!”
-William R. Alger
A CHILD VIEW OF THUNDERSTORMS
A little girl walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trek to school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with lightning.
The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school. She also feared the electrical storm might harm her child. Full of concern, the mother got into her car and quickly drove along the route to her child’s school. As she did, she saw her little girl walking along.
At each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up, and SMILE. More lightning followed quickly and with each, the little girl would look at the streak of lightning and smile.
When the mother drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called, “What are you doing?”
The child answered, “I am trying to look pretty because God keeps taking my picture.”
Children have great imaginations and see beyond the projected fears and limitations of adults.
When we look at life with the delight and innocence of a child, we find joy and peace and our journey is lighter, unburdened from the stresses of the day.
Maybe something scary….is not so scary after all. Sometimes we just need to take another look.
May we always see with the eyes of a child, and fearlessly exploring and delighting in life, despite any and all stormy weather.
~Best wishes to you from the MBHA Staff and volunteers.
Greetings MBHA friends!
Today is a great day to focus on persistence, pushing through barriers, and seize the day. Let’s start tackling those fitness goals! It’s a little foggy and chilly here on the Monterey Bay Central California coast. The faint sound of seagulls can be heard on top of the splashing of the waves against the shore, and it’s not unusual to see a turkey vulture in the sky with it’s effortless, smooth and gentle flight. SO after a belly full of Thanksgiving holiday food, and a weekend of chilly weather, it’s TEMPTING to put off those nasty exercises that make us achy and sore. BUT let’s wake up and seize the day with a little inspiration from Rosie the Riveter!
We can do it!
The American wartime propaganda poster “We Can Do It!” inspires all of us here at MBHA to get up, get moving, and be disciplined with our physical exercises. Just look at that face! This muscular woman is speaking to ALL out there who feel frustration and hopeless when life seems challenging and bleak.
The poster was originally produced by J. Howard Miller in 1943 for Westinghouse Electric is as an inspirational image to boost female wartime worker morale. The poster is believed to be created from a black-and-white wire service photograph taken of Geraldine Hoff, a Michigan factory worker.
It was actually seen very little during World War II, but was brought out again to the public in the early 1980’s and widely distributed during the “Women’s Rights” era of that time. It inspired women to keep up the fight and never give up hope. The poster girl became known as “Rosie the Riveter” and it made the cover of the Smithsonian magazine in 1994 and in 1999 was a US first-class mail stamp.
Today we fight war of another kind.
Today we are fighting a war within OURSELVES: the war of the mind, body and spirit, that prevents us from choosing to keep physically fit. This is a VERY serious war. Rosie, with her bulging muscles, and determined, fearless, gaze, depicts the inspirational spirit of someone who is not about to give up!
Health challenges can be a lonely battle. Employers are more often not providing in health care benefits and insurance companies are no longer covering outrageous expenses. Many men and women are unemployed or working for low wages and feeling hopeless from the stresses of the failing economy. They, in turn, have stopped the healthy disciplines of good nutrition, daily physical exercises, and getting plenty of sleep, fresh air, rest and relaxation. People with chronic illnesses, sometimes give up the fight in despair, surrendering to a life of suffering and eventually death. Many people choose to sit in their rooms, hopelessly surrendering to a life of despair, sometimes clinging to watching television or chatting online with cyber-friends, looking for an escape from the all too painful piles of bills, and the pain and suffering of the physical, emotional, and mental body.
Less than 25% of the people today meet the guidelines for aerobic and muscle strengthening.
Recent statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that less than 25% of adults 18 years of age and over who met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity. Cardiovascular disease is the cause of death for more than 1/4 of people this past year and is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Looking at our past is a healthy way to inspire us to move forward in the future.
Rosie the Riveter has been there for 70 years to say, “We Can Do It!” and keep people from choosing the “VICTIM” consciousness. She’s inspired people through many lifetime struggles and challenges, and she can inspire US NOW during these challenging times. Sure, times are tough, but it’s up to us to make a difference. So we start by getting up off of the couch and doing some exercises, or maybe just going for a walk after supper. We eat right, get plenty of sleep, look to a higher wisdom, and see the blessings and lessons in every moment. Soon we begin to heal ourselves, and then we can begin to heal the world. We do this one day at a time.
We invite YOU to share your inspirational stories and the ways in which you have broken through barriers and pushed past your fears to face life’s biggest challenges. YOU are our biggest inspiration.
With gratitude and love to you,
Your health and wellness friends,
The MBHA Staff and Volunteers