Mother Teresa is my hero... because she understood the joy that comes from dedicating your life to serving God and caring for His children. She also understood that people are far more valuable than things, that judging others is a misuse of our time, and that unconditional love is something everyone needs.
My Grandmother is my hero... because she was a strong woman. She raised four boys on her own and ran a farm after her husband died, and she taught them all to be men of faith and character. She was a breast cancer survivor in the days when many weren't. She loved her grandchildren dearly and taught us many things. Time spent with her are wonderful memories of childhood.
My Father is my hero... because he grew up a poor farm child during the Great Depression, and went on to be a very successful business man with just a high school education. He took care of his family and handled his affairs with honesty and integrity. He valued his employees and he showed them. He also served both on the City Council and later as a County Commissioner and had many, many friends in his community, as was evidenced at his funeral.
My Husband is my hero... because he has never used his childhood as an excuse in life, though it was anything but idyllic. His father died when he was three years old. He grew up in a home with very little money, and an abusive alcoholic step-father, and was moved from school to school and town to town, never having the chance to settle in. He has held down a full-time job since he was sixteen years old. He will be sixty in just a few months, but still works six days a week without complaining. He has raised a family, survived the death of two wives that he loved dearly, and experienced more hardships than any man I know, and yet he is a role model of kindness, caring, responsibility and integrity, and has a wonderful sense of both romance and humor. He is a very good man.
My Children are my heroes... because their growing up years were not always in easy, happy situations, yet they made the best of it, did well in school, and both went on to be successful adults with good careers that enable them to support themselves well. My daughter is a Registered Nurse, my son is an Air Traffic Controller. They are both intelligent, independent, responsible, kind and caring adults, who treat their mother with love and respect. I am incredibly proud of both of them.
Parents who parent are my heroes... because they realize that their first priority and most important role in life is to care for their children and to teach them, to raise them to be responsible, caring, independent adults. Parenting requires long hours and the ability to be the "bad guy" when called for, the willingness to be an authority figure rather than a best buddy, and to say "NO" and mean it! It's the toughest job in the world, and the most rewarding. Good kids don't happen by accident, it takes a conscious and consistent effort and and knowledge that sharing quality time is worth far more than providing every freedom and expensive item they desire.
Teachers are my heroes... because they put in far more than 40 hours a week to teach our children not only fundamentals but skills and knowledge they will need for a lifetime. They do this with pathetically poor pay, often with children in the classroom who have been taught nothing in the way of respect or proper conduct by their parents. They have to deal with endless government interference in the teaching process, disgruntled parents, and never ending budget cuts. Yet somehow they still manage to inspire students, and are often the one person who makes a difference in the life of a child.
Nurses are my heroes... because they work unbelievably long hours, with nearly impossible nurse-patient ratios, caring for people with critical life situations, are expected to retain an incredible amount of information regarding each condition, medication, and the patients themselves, and must also deal with egotistical doctors and stressed families, yet they manage to walk into a patient's room with a smile and caring words, and provide comfort and encouragement, along with good medical care.
Firemen are my heroes... because they have the courage to risk their lives every day to rescue people in all kinds of critical and dangerous situations, and then have the heart go back into a burning building to rescue someone's beloved pet, or climb a tree to rescue a frightened kitten, understanding that our pets are important family members too.
Animal Rescue workers are my heroes... because it is left to them to find the funding, facilities, medical care, and compassionate individuals needed to care for all the animals that heartless people neglect, abuse and abandon. They have to live daily with graphic examples of how cruel people can be, and yet somehow retain the heart to continue working tirelessly to end animal suffering.
The clients I work with are my heroes... because they must deal with life-changing illness or injury, chronic debilitating pain, emotional struggle, financial strain, and uncertainty about their future every single day. They have often lost their jobs, their homes, their income, and sometimes their families. Some have no where to go and live on the streets. They wait endless months and sometimes years for the slow wheels of our Social Security security system to come to their aid, and yet somehow the find the courage to go on living, to go on hoping for a better tomorrow.
Survivors are my heroes... because it takes courage and determination to face the trials of life head on, and to decide that despite all, it is still worth living. It is far easier to give up, or to live in the role of a victim. Survivors have discovered their own true worth and have learned that they are ultimately in control of their destiny. I am a survivor, and I am proud of everyone who wears this label with me. We can learn take control of our own lives, we can find joy, fulfillment, and inner peace. When we have found it, we can reach out to others... that's what survivors do.
Those who encourage and uplift others are my heroes... because they understand that we are not put in this world to journey alone, we are here to reach out and help each other along the way. We learn and grow by caring and sharing. We are all related, what we chose to do, or not do, with our life impacts other lives. Those who love and care for others are my heroes.... and that brings me right back to the beginning of this list! :-)
This post is linked up at Two Shoes Tuesday
where the prompt this week is "hero"
at this week's edition of Thirsty for Comments
at this week's edition of Thirsty for Comments