03
Dec
08

Habitual Heroism

We are all heroes on the inside, just waiting for the moment that hero can run free, blazing courage across the darkness.  We lie in wait, expecting that moment to come, knowing we have what it takes.  I have never doubted my own heroism.  Ever.  Until recently.  The other evening during dinner a story came on the radio about a man who interfered in a violent situation.  Suddenly the reality of that hero moment crashed in on my delusion.  I surprised my husband by wondering aloud if I could do such a thing.  He quickly answered that there was no question – he’d step in and he didn’t understand why I was so hesitant.  I know something, though.  We wait for these moments, but these moments are actually waiting on us.  Every day we have opportunities to be heroic.  They are small opportunities, sure, but they are there.  We have opportunities to look strangers in the eye and smile, sincerely, even if that person wants to talk.  We have an opportunity to set aside our anticipated TV show, or blog entry, or gaming adventure, to take and extra minute and really talk to our children.  We have opportunities to keep the latest office gossip to ourselves and not betray a trust.  As Americans, we always have an opportunity to stand up for what is good and just and right.  To be a hero in the big moments, I believe that a foundation has to be laid in habit. 

During the Mumbai tragedy and standoff, the media was interviewing those who escaped.  I DO NOT fault them for escaping.  I am grateful that some did.  However, for a brief moment I paused and wondered if there could have been a different outcome had they stood in solidarity.  Had they found a way to lead a rebellion or lead others to safety.  I don’t know.  I wasn’t there, but I think that for those people, that was the moment they had waited for.  They did the smart thing, but I’m unsure if it would be called heroic.  Did I mention that I do not think less of them for it?  It is just food for thought.  It is so easy to talk about shattering evil, guns blazing, youth’s Tae Kwan Do skills honed, but when there is only time to react, I don’t think “hero” is the default unless it is practiced. 

I mentioned that I always thought I was heroic, but now I’m looking over my life.  I shamefully confess that I have a cousin I love like a sister who may not spend eternity in Heaven because I don’t have the nerve to risk our relationship.  The same goes for many of my friends.  Does this diminish my faith?  It very well may.  I donate money and some times a little time to bake sale-type fund raisers to fight human trafficking, but even in the face of such grotesque evil, I sit in my living room and wish there was something I could do.  There is plenty I can do.  The world is a better place because of people who figured out what to do, then made it a priority.  As long as we sit in our living rooms and wish for instruction, evil persists.  It grows.  It is time to go find those moments and build them into a way of life.

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