Do you know someone who is a hero? How does that hero affect you? Is it fair or accurate to say heroes enrich our lives? And what makes someone a hero?
Cleaning out some files, I found a handwritten overview of a course “What is a hero.”
I taught this to 9th graders in religious school. Some questions were obvious; what is a hero, define. Who is your hero, why.
More difficult to define; does a hero appear a hero to more than one person? About that- I just participated in a funding questionnaire where I had to pick my favorite hero out of a lengthy list. Initially it seemed like a very difficult task, but then I found Shana, and she was the one for me. A wife and mother, working, mentoring, advising, and more. She’s volunteered, helping others to look at the needs of adults with disabilities in her community and in 2 years opened the first group home in her city to address religious needs and those of independence for disabled adults. Shana received a lot of votes, but so did some others on the list of heroes.
Targeting the teenagers, I asked; does this person [this hero] affect others as you are affected, and does this person work for a tangible [monetary] reward. I wish I could tell you some of the results, but one teen I taught, my daughter, is now 28 years old. And my memory is not quite what it used to be.
I will tell you this about heroes. I’ve always felt strongly that my middle son is a hero. Despite his disabilities, he tries very hard to fit in, to behave as others around him are behaving. His speech is almost unintelligible, yet many people can understand him. He smiles, he gestures, he’s rarely frustrated with other people’s lack of understanding. (I truly believe he thinks this lack is about them, having nothing to do with him.)
And for all that he still shares a home with his mother, long after his siblings have left for independent lives. His need for his father to be in his life is unmet. No matter, he is as self-assured a human being as you could ever meet. Some people might say, he doesn’t know enough to feel put down, or be depressed. They would be wrong. He can get frustrated, angry, sullen, down in the dumps, but these occur in small proportion to his enjoyment of life, and for short periods of time. (So says Leo, one of his caregivers, and he knows what’s what.)
Yes he is my hero. He has unclear speech, hearing loss, almost no comprehension of time, money, and numbers. He is functionally illiterate. And he has such a generosity of spirit and love of family and friends, and willingness to try…
He truly walks on the sunny side of the street.
**Pictures this post; my most recent knitting projects; playing with color contrasts.