Have you noticed? Our world has gone nuts.
People now silently scream at each other using a tiny electronic box they hold in their hands. Children are regularly planted in front of another box, (perhaps this one is a little bit bigger), for hours at a time. It looks like they’re just playing a game perhaps, or maybe watching a television show, but many of them are really learning bad habits, bad manners and bad ideas.
Children today are learning that heroes are people who get money for attracting attention.
They’re learning that rudeness, extremity and disruption are what get the most feedback. Our children are learning they want to be noticed by as many invisible people as possible, through social media sites you’ve probably never even heard of.
They’re learning there are shortcuts. Our youth are being taught that the old lessons of hard work, diligence and courtesy–all of the things our country was built on–are falling out of favor, to be replaced by shock value and volume.
In our new world, heroes are now people who overcome the absurd.
Drug binges, car accidents caused by their own lack of sobriety, mad rages caused by their own poor choices–these are the things our children are now being told are the normal hazards of life. They’re being taught by our media that attention comes from misbehavior.
All of it.
Years ago, I came upon a terrible car accident.
One of the vehicles had landed upside down, and a woman’s legs were sticking out of the passenger window, splayed out unnaturally across the pavement.
Tearfully, I watched a burly policeman pull her dress down with great tenderness. In that moment, he covered this woman’s exposed panties, and gave her some dignity during a terrifying moment in her life. That guy? He was a hero.
He didn’t do this for money. He didn’t do it for fame, or for glory.
This police officer acted with such grace because it was the right and decent thing to do for his fellow human being.
You, and I, are surrounded by heroes, my Friend.
If you look, you’ll see the extraordinary hiding in the brokenness all around us. When you clear out the clutter of our new world, you can still see shining examples of people being heroes.
I encourage you to find them.
More importantly, I encourage you to become one.
I know a man who adopted a child.
He is now not only this boy’s strongest advocate, but his coach for multiple sports. This hero friend of mine now gives solace, leadership and love to a score of children who might not otherwise have a father figure. You’ve never heard of this man, but he is one of our world’s heroes.
I know another man who is musically talented.
This man quietly gathers used guitars. Then he donates them to a therapy program that gives music lessons to veterans with PTSD . The suffering of many broken soldiers is alleviated because of these donations. This quiet man, quietly gathering instruments with no expectation of thanks or recognition for his efforts, is a hero.
I know a woman, a cancer survivor who had a rocky childhood.
She now serves as a night nurse in a pediatric emergency room. Her adulthood is spent in the glaring lights of a chaotic ER, staying awake while others sleep. Quietly, she takes care of broken children and their families. This woman is a hero.
These people live their lives with no expectation of reward for their efforts.
They simply do what is right, because it is right. These quiet heroes see a need, or a brokenness, or a suffering of some type.
Then they simply make it better.
No glory. No reward. No expectation for recognition.
They are examples of our world’s real heroes.
What about you?
Have you turned away from someone because it was tough, inconvenient or messy? Or have you quietly stepped in, to make something better in the life of another?
Do it, Friend.
Silently offer what you can to this broken world.
Share something that in the grand scheme of things might be tiny, but will resonate within the soul of another. Be a positive, gentle voice offering stillness and love to this broken world.
Be a hero, Friend.
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**Chanler Jeffers is a woman who has seen many extraordinary things over her lifetime. An adventurer, survivor, overachiever and advocate of kindness in all instances, she has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), and is a member of their Circle of Champions. She has had the good fortune to live and travel all over the world, grew up as a military dependent, was a single parent for many years, has survived cancer and gently shaped countless people over her years on this little planet we call home. Follow along as she shares her knowledge, her experience and her love. Oh, by the way–one more thing. She’s married to a Bass playing rock star, lucky girl.