Who is a hero in your life? Is it your mom or Superman? A firefighter or Wonder Woman? My heroes are none of them, but all of them. I believe that everyone can be a hero. A hero is someone who restores faith in someone else, who takes responsibility for their actions, someone who speaks the truth. I believe that, even in hard times, you can make yourself a hero. Everyone has the opportunity do this.
I believe in trust and honesty and that those who show it are heroes. When I went to sleep-away camp, I had a roommate who seemed to despise me, though I could not see what I had done to harm her. She disliked me so much, she violated my trust. Even though I didn’t get along with her, there was always that unspoken rule of personal space and of honesty and truthfulness and she broke it. We got along well in the beginning shared secrets and told stories; we were the best of friends. I didn’t understand what I did wrong. She had the opportunity to be my hero, although she was my peer, because I was new and naive. Instead she laughed at me along with many other girls, shattering my confidence. I learned that not everyone can be a hero, even when you need them to be. Sometimes people can’t rise up to your beliefs. I thought that my roommate would be also have the same beliefs and would do onto me as she would herself, but she couldn’t be exactly how I wanted her to be. And sometimes you need to accept that.
If you have ever seen the Liberty Mutual commercial, it sums up what I have to say. In that commercial, one man picks up a doll for another lady and her child. A bystander sees this exchange and continues to help someone else; someone watching that deed does another good thing and so on. So I think that this commercial has a pretty good sentiment on how people should treat each other. I think that everyone should try to live like that.
I believe in faith. I believe that people do things just to see joy or relief in other people. When skiing in Vermont, I was racing down a slope, but from behind me a snowboarder crashed into me. He helped me up, but didn’t seem too concerned. He sped away without a second glance. Unfornunately, I fell back down. For the record I am not the most coordinated person. As I sat on my butt, with a mouth full of ice cold snow, trying to reach my other ski and ski pole, some random person came up beside me and helped me. He said that he had seen what happened and was appalled. He could not stand to see someone treat someone else this way. We talked the rest of the way down and after he left, I always wish that I could repay him somehow. Instead I try to show my appreciation by helping other people.
I am not saying that I am perfect, but I try my hardest to live under that code. Though sometimes it is frustrating to do so, but I know it will make me a better person. I strive to live this way, because I know it will pay off in the long run; I’m sure that we all want that. It is in the toughest of times that shows one person’s true character. These are the times when heroes are born. But, in fact, hero is born everyday, because a hero can be you. When you restore faith in someone else, and you do that on those dark days, it makes a world of difference. It is really easy to make someone feel better when things are going well from you. But it is when everything is going wrong and it seems that life is a mess and you find a way to smile, or to smile to someone else just to see their face light up with happiness. Sometimes it is hard to find a hero in you. But remember it’s always there. You can never make that go away. When no one is looking and all else goes wrong, heroes arise.
This is what I believe; that people should do nice things for the sake of seeing joy in other people. It is not only dark days in which heroes arise. Everyone can be a hero. Everyone does things to someone or another to make them to look up to you; to make you their hero. I believe that these unknown heroes, these everyday people, are just as powerful as Superman. Both restore faith, both speak the truth, both take some responsibility in their actions, both do these act of random kindness. The difference is one has super strength the other doesn’t. Everyone has an opportunity to be a hero. As my past teacher, Ms. Henderson, says every morning: whether you take it up or not, the choice is yours. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.