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Whose Hero Are You Today?

By Mark Johnson - What would it take to be a hero for someone else, to do great deeds, to show courage and fortitude?

Friday 6 August 2010

Life challenges us in funny ways.  Early one morning recently, based on a conversation we had had the previous day, my 13 year old daughter said to me “Who’s hero are you today Dad?”  At the time it was said in jest but it later got me thinking what would it mean to be a hero for someone and can anyone be a hero?

In defining the word hero, the dictionary uses descriptions such as demigod and superhuman, so as much I try I’m not going to come close to that.  On the other hand hero is also defined as one being admired for great deeds, exceptional courage, nobility and fortitude.  Of course it is inferred that these deeds are done in aide of others and not oneself.  Again, a tough list to live up to but not out of reach for most of us and we can apply it to a variety of contexts and relationships – work, home, friends and community.

So what would it take to be a hero for someone else, to do great deeds, to show courage and fortitude?  

For a start it’s about putting others first and not making yourself the centre of the universe. Take the time to understand the needs of others and support them.  When you can do this you will experience far greater satisfaction with life, a feeling of contribution and an experience of “meaning” and self-worth.  This positivity will feed on itself and you will be inclined to do more good deeds.

Small or large acts, it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you act with the right intention.  Here are some ideas of actions that you could take:

  • Mentor someone
  • Speak out for those unjustly treated
  • Push for a change that you know is needed in your business
  • If a colleague is struggling genuinely ask how they are feeling and how you can help them
  • Break down a barrier someone is struggling with
  • Say hello to a homeless person
  • Help an elderly person with their shopping
  • Donate time and money to charities
  • Donate blood
  • Smile at someone

There are hundreds of acts you could add to this list, so look around you and find ways you can make life better for someone else.

Now let me finish with a challenge for you . . .who’s hero are you today?

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