Be a hero

August 1, 2009

In an interview recently I was asked who my hero was.  I realized, with a little sadness, I didn’t have a ready answer.  I didn’t think much about it after that until I read chapter 18 in Rebecca Hagelin’s book.   “Tell your children what makes a true hero, and pledge to be a hero too.”  I realized that my father didn’t tell me a single hero story when I was growing up.  My dad didn’t tell stories at all.  His childhood was,  marked by poverty, alcoholism and mental illness, so he had no stories, and thus passed none on.

So, besides Batman, what does a hero look like?  “By definition, a hero is someone who has done something noble and good, something worthy of our admiration and respect.” (page 171)

And so we need to tell our children what a hero is, and more importantly, what a hero isn’t.  T.O. is not a hero if he catches a game winning touchdown, but whines about management.  Robert Downey Jr. is not a hero if he plays an Iron Man on the big screen.  He may be if he conquers his demons and goes on to make a difference in the life of others by helping them, but there are absolutely no heroic movie roles.  There are no real heroes on TV.  Acting is not an act of heroism, singing patriotic songs or protest songs isn’t either.  Green Day earned a reputation for singing heroic songs.  As my father-in-law used to say, Pew! If you don’t like the way things are, do something, don’t just  complain to music.

Heroes make a difference in things that make a difference. In real life, in battles with death, and with raising children who know right from wrong and know how to choose the right path.  In other words, heroes are people who risk something of their own to make a difference in the life of someone else.

Hagelin closes the chapter with this thought.  “Mom and dad, you can be the most effective hero for your kids.  Despite what the educators, social scientists, or culture tell you, the truth is you are the primary force in your child’s life.”  (page 176)  Take the high road, be a hero.

30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family, 2009 Rebecca Hagelin, Regenery Press

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