My little ones don't yet understand what real life heroes are but I'm hoping they will one day learn.
Hopefully the day will come when they will witness true heroics, like a life being saved or an act of selfless bravery or even the daily charitable acts that generally go unnoticed. There are so many day-to-day heroes that deserve recognition.
I was driving along one day when I saw a senior couple at the side of the road walking but the man was quite unsteady on his feet and his wife was having a hard time helping him. In the time it took me to turn the car around to come back to them, another lady had already stopped. She offered her assistance and the older couple went on their way, arm in arm. This is the kind of day to day hero that I love to see. It makes me glad to live here, when I see people act kindly.
Then there are those who devote hours and days to volunteering, just because they can. With hundreds of organizations and nonprofit groups, the need for volunteers is overwhelming. I know of a man personally who is retired, but is working with two different organizations, putting in hours probably equal to full-time employment — with meetings and appointments, papers and agendas, deposits and payroll just like any other workforce.
Then there are those superficial "heroes", undeserving and selfish, rock stars and politicians. My oldest is a fan of Justin Bieber, but it would sadden me if she were to ever refer to him as a hero. Politicians are servants to society, but I don't believe they should be put on a pedestal because of the job they chose.
In saying that, I do believe even rock stars and politicians have the potential to act heroically and to use their sway for the good and to donate time and money to deserving charities. I also believe the average Joe or Jane has the same opportunity but more often than not we don't have the pressure and expectation on us to act charitably. It doesn't take much but it means the world to those who are on the receiving end. A bag full of gently used baby clothes for the children's haven, an offered ride for an older couple, some homemade baking for someone sick. How hard does it have to be to spread kindness? How difficult is a good deed? How complicated do we have to make it?
Heroes are simple — they are humans caring for humans, using whatever resources they have. Sometimes it is first aid and sometimes it is food, but true heroes don't think of what it will take out of their own pocket, but how they can make someone's day a little better, a little safer or a little more secure.
We should all be the heroes we want our children to idolize. We should all be the role model for them to copycat. We should make sure the next generation after us has a social responsibility instead of a superficial one. Teach your children to spot a real hero and how to become one.