Occasionally, you see something that truly touches your heart and stays with you. I remember watching a press conference where Tom Brady teared up when asked who his hero was. His open and authentic show of emotion made me think about the heroes in my life and how my idea of a hero has changed with life experiences.
When you search online for, “What is a hero?” you get different responses like:
“Someone who has demonstrated behaviors and decisions that are ethically and emotionally worthy of our awe.”
“A person who stays strong even when facing a serious problem.”
“Someone who never lose hope and is there when you need them.”
In my youth, I was more easily impressed by the idea of a hero being someone who was not out of the realm of who I could be, yet not someone I had daily interactions vs. someone running around in tights with a cape. My heroes were people who did things for the general good of the public. I think like many children my heroes could easily be identified by the clothes they wore. They were police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses. Again, not anyone I had daily interaction with but people I could admire from afar.
As I grew older, my heroes became the people who loved me, nurtured me, spent time with me, taught me life lessons, and wished nothing but the best for me. My greatest heroes became my parents, like Tom Brady’s hero (his dad!). My parents understood the importance of unconditional love, they made sacrifices for their children, accepted us for who we were, and their expectation of us was simple.
Be the best version of yourself you could be.
While social media has both negative and positive connotations, it has provided us with the opportunity to see everyday heroes. The neighbor who woke a family up when she realized their house was on fire; the customers that stopped a gunman from robbing a store; Markey, the young man with a debilitating skin disorder singing to his dog because he’s worried his dog is worried about him; and one of my all-time favorites, the dance requested by a boy who has cancer that Neymar and his teammates performed after making a goal.
At Camp Fire we have many everyday heroes. They include the individuals and organizations that recognize the importance of our programs and support our efforts through financial support or the volunteers that selflessly give of their time. And there is, of course, the staff who ensure the children and adults who participate in our programs all have the opportunity to work toward the promise of giving young people the opportunity to find their spark, lift their voice, and discover who they are.
Heroes one and all.