Heros – Where Have They Gone?

Good Monday Morning,

Over the weekend, we lost a great American hero in Neil Armstrong and it really got me thinking.

Growing up I had several icons that I looked up to as heroes – presidents, athletes, astronauts, among others.  People, that I would say, “Someday, I want to be exactly like them.”  Heroes may not be exactly the right term; but, I’m thinking of people who have accomplished something significant in their life and become someone we look to emulate.  Not only in their accomplishment but more often than not, in the character and principles that accompany them and form the picture of the whole individual.  Neil Armstrong was such a person.  A man of great character, never one to take the lime light and certainly not one to boast about his accomplishment and what he did.  And, even in the words that he spoke during that momentous event, “It’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind,” was acknowledgement of something bigger in which he was a participant.  His modesty, commitment to the advancement of science and technology, and proponent of the common good are traits for which he will be remembered.  For me and the many kids of the day, he inspired us to be the technologists, engineers, and the scientists of today.  It was cool, the challenges were grand, meaningful, and how much fun could it be.  Everyone wanted to be an astronaut and everyone wanted to be just like Neil Armstrong – he was a good person.

What really struck me was that today and in recent times, it’s really tough for me to identify more than just one or two individuals that I’d consider true heroes or individuals who inspire us in a manner like Armstrong.  In fact, I can only think of a couple  – Steven Hawking, Michael Phelps, Steve Jobs. But, they’re few and not quite the same caliber – the whole person.  Perhaps it’s the times or just simply that I’m old and look deeper than the superficial definition that we give to modern day heroes. Maybe it’s because we’ve lost the significance in the superficial, consumer-based, I want it all world in which we live today.  It’s really sad that we hear more about the ‘bad’ people around us rather than those who inspire us to be better people, reach for the stars, and accomplish something significant in our life.

Here’s my throw down:  “Be an inspiration – be a hero”.  Sounds like a tall order; but, here’s what I want you to consider.  Think about who you are, what you stand for and what you want to accomplish in your life, today, or in the moment.  And, be true to yourself in that moment.  Others will be watching.  Perhaps, just a bit smaller event than the first step on the moon; but, they will be watching.  In everything you do, in all that you accomplish, someone is paying attention.  Be a ‘hero’ to those people – they pay attention and watch, more than you think.  You guys have already done this and people take notice.  Consider the roles that you were asked to play in school and athletics, the conversations you had, and the people that you influenced and who looked up to you in those times – you’ve done it and you can continue to be that example – be that hero.  This week, when you’re doing whatever you’re doing, think about the people around you and in the moment, ask yourself – What do I want to be remembered for?  Am I being true to myself? Am I setting the example for others to follow? How can I be that icon, that example of what others strive to be like?  It doesn’t have to be huge, but trust me it will be significant and it will be remembered.

Try it for a week and see what happens.  I’m going to and I’ll let you know how my week goes.

God bless & have a great week.