There are people among us, walking among us in the streets, driving past us on the highway, standing in the next line to us at the store, who are heroes.
No, they aren't wearing capes or waving wands. They aren't featured in comic books or in the pages of a magazine. They don't have 'followers' on their Insta page. Some of them don't even have a page at all, let alone any followers. They look like everyone else, anyone else. Average, ordinary, 'invisible' people. They may not stand out in a room, or be the types to dominate conversations. They may be perfectly okay being a bit hidden from public view. They may not feel special at all, or would ever consider themselves heroic. But they're heroes because of the hardship they have endured, or still endure. The suffering they meet every day and yet still show up to walk the streets, drive the highways, stand in lines at stores. Don't get me wrong - They're heroes not just because they've been through stuff. Hey - we all go through stuff and I wouldn't say we are ALL heroic beings... They're heroes because every day, they surpass the notion that their suffering is anything special. They know deeply, that they are not. They help others, in their community, be it in their family of two, or in their town of ten thousand, they display empathy for their fellow humans because they know they're ones of the same. They see themselves in the other, and the other in themselves.
Too many among us walk with their heads high, with a sense of entitlement, of importance, of 'specialness.'
Our "free" modern world and the religion of individualism, and the importance of self-esteem, has brought along with it, a more-than-healthy dose of narcissism and entitlement. We often praise those types, highlight them, think they're special. We makes them our 'idols', our 'heroes', our, ahem, 'presidents.'
But what do we gain from making them our heroes?
And more importantly, what is lost when we overlook the unsung heroes among us?
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In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman