We all have heroes, whether be it fictional or real live people, we have someone that we look up, someone we admire, someone we wish we could become. But somehow, we always tell ourselves, we can never be as good as they can be, we will never have the heart that they have or the conviction that they bring. We can never achieve what they have accomplished or outdo anything that they have done. But at some point, I have asked myself why can’t we be our own heroes? Why do we have to see the power in other people instead to just exercising our own?
So in an attempt to become a hero or even a small part hero myself, I tried to join an office activity for an outreach program. I thought it would be a good use of my time and I would probably meet someone to inspire me to be more than just some random person. And I guess I was right, because that’s where I met PJ.
This was not my first time to meet a sick kid but something about his smile brought light to my world, not that I was gloomy or anything. But it amazed me that an injured 5 year old kid who was alone in the hospital greeted me with such great joy. I don’t know if I’m just that much of a cynic but I was stunned with the idea that a kid that young understood the fact that he had to be alone because his mom needed to work during the day. He had his whole leg up the thing and was eating his lunch like an adult, not needing any assistance or not even needing a parent to tell him to eat in the first place. It was amazing to me that he was living in reality and had a clear understanding of what that meant but wasn’t afraid to face it.
When I looked at him and talked to him, his lively attitude really brought me to shame, I didn’t understand whether he was just naïve or if I was just too corrupted. And it immediately hit me, I’m never going to be a hero compared to this kid. He was in pain and he was alone but he did it with a smile on his face. He couldn’t even stand up or has no one to hold his hand but he smiled at me like his mom was there or that he had every idea that everything was just fine.
It was crazy to think that this kid can do it and I can barely smile when I’m stressed out. How can I be as brave as this kid who almost had nothing, literally nothing, and he knew it, but still have that attitude. It kind of slaps you in the face when someone like that moves you, when someone smiles at you with all the life that he has and takes away all your cynicism in the world. And with his smile, he changed my whole idea of a hero.
I used to think that heroes were were superhumans. They had unbelievable will, higher intellect and undying strength. My heroes were these smart aggressive people who wanted to change the world and did, but now, I couldn’t help but see him as someone more than that despite how he is.
I think the reason why we can’t see ourselves as heroes is because we have the wrong idea of what a hero should be. We have this idea that heroes can do no wrong and they can withstand anything. We have the idea that our heroes can create magic and powers than can change lives without even trying. But maybe it’s not that, maybe it’s not the strengths that defines a hero. It’s not the intellect, the talent and the charm manifesting in a person that creates a hero, but rather just the mere perseverance is enough to make a hero. And since I believe that anyone who struggles to get out of bed every morning have that, maybe we are all heroes. Just something to think about.