Image for post
Image for post

Stop Waiting for Heroes That Are Already Here

Enlightenment is Sexy

Cosby. Hogan. His HolinessSanders.

These high-profile names reflect just a few of the many well-known persons others might have (or still do) consider heroes. These people have also encountered varying degrees of infamy due to certain incidents that have damaged their reputation as heroes. When incidents like this occur, especially to people others look up to, many of our so-called heroes begin to look a little less like the mythic figures of righteousness we sometimes would like them to be.

In the last decade, the childhood memories of inspirational role-models have been stained with scandal. Perhaps it’s no coincidence the last few years have also seen many moving through existential crises of morality, coinciding with the rise in big-budget blockbusters featuring super powered crime-fighters saving the day with gusto and heart, fighting for truth. It’s no wonder people are so ravenous whenever a new superhero movie that isn’t Fantastic Four comes careening into the box office.

But all the superhero movies in the world aren’t going to make us forget the world around us. In many areas of life, frustration is at an all time high. Protests for social justice and equality are happening in many places, seems like every day there is a new mass shooting, people are looking for change. Just look at the roaring success political outsiders are encountering at the start of the this current election cycle. My parents, like many others, are fed up with a lot of the bureaucratic bullshit vapid hokum they’ve been spoon fed about the American Dream. In turn, these frustrations have been passed on to myself and others of the millennial generation. And yet, it seems like many in my parent’s generation (and some in mine) still support a very broken system that oppresses many of our brothers and sisters. I’ll ask my father about this sometimes, and he almost always says the same thing,

While I appreciate my father’s faith, there’s one big problem with this thought. We can’t just keep our eyes shut, wishing white knights into existence. To some extent, though perhaps not as drastic, this is known as the bystander effect, made famous by the 1964 Kitty Genovese murder where onlookers listened to, and in some cases watched the murder of their neighbor without intervening. While this and many other incidents are horrifying in and of themselves, that attitude of passing responsibility has been pervasive throughout our parent’s generation on a number of social issues that have been boiling over in the last several years. We cannot continue down this path. We can become the heroes we’ve been searching for.

In essence, we are all heroes. This hero-like ability, more often than not, lies untapped within most individuals in society.

Think about it like this; every day, we have time to dramatically change someone’s life, even if it’s something like sharing leftover fast food fries with the homeless, many of which might be considered heroes by society. But if personal interaction isn’t your thing, it’s also easy to donate a little food, especially considering in the states we don’t eat about 40% of it anyway! Something even as simple as listening to someone, without interruption or judgement could dramatically change someone’s life, as a blog post gone viral by Mark Manson explains. No capes, no athletics, no walking on water, no spirituality required.

Hell, you don’t even need to leave your screen if that’s your scene. Websites like freerice.com, blahtherapy.com or 7cupsoftea.com exist so that YOU can make a difference. A previous story on Medium also about reviews several other ways all of us can do something small that makes a major impact. Best of all, these actions don’t require a ton of effort, making them literally the least we can do.

I recognize there are people everywhere who are already making a difference, and when tragedy strikes people everywhere naturally bond together to help their fellow human in times of distress. I’m not saying every day heroes don’t exist, nor am I wanting to discount the work of those who are making a difference. But again, we can’t keep relying on these altruistic white knights, or wait for another megalithic tragedy.

I recognize it’s easy to say, “Be a hero” and feel a sense of pressure, apathy or disbelief. Yet it’s easier than you think because everyone is capable of doing something simple to help, especially thanks to technology. As more of us discover we are the heroes we need, we won’t have to point to superheroes, athletes and other leaders for inspiration because we’ll be busy pointing to our brothers and sisters across the globe.

A simple act of kindness, compassion, gratitude and/or empathy can vault anyone from average Joe human to hero in an instant. All it takes is one action. Still, maybe there are some who feel like they can be or maybe even are a hero inside, but don’t know what to do or how to start. Again I say, all it takes is one action. And in those moments, remember; ripples create waves.

Image for post
Image for post

is a writer that always seems to be working on at least five different projects while attempting to share musings and revelations on a regular-ish basis.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store