The Little Things Count
Although I'm completely enamored with the idea of having super powers, of doing good and righting wrongs, and of
wearing spandex making this world better--by saving it on a regular basis--I can't say that I know any super heroes. It's not that I'm not trying to find them... the people who never give in and never give up and use their X-Ray vision to help people... it's just that they aren't there.
In comic books and cartoons, super heroes face challenges and always overcome. They might look trapped and the world might appear to be "doomed," but the super heroes come out ahead (otherwise the author would be out of a job). Real life doesn't work like that.
Sometimes, even the people who are the strongest, who refuse to accept failure or defeat, who
look excellent in spandex carry the burdens of others... saving their worlds... sometimes they give up. They give up, even if it's only on the inside, even if it's only for a minute, they are defeated.
Does that take away their super-hero-ness? I think it does. The good news is that it makes us all the same. We all can be like those strong, inspirational people, too. We just have to not "give up" permanently.
That's why I find the salvations offered up daily to be the real acts of a hero.
For example, yesterday while I was driving I was unable to change lanes due to traffic and was at a stoplight about to go straight when I needed to go right. A nice man saw my plight, steered his own vehicle out of the way so that I could move by and I got to my destination on time and in safety. He couldn't hear it, but I told him he was my hero.
People who remember to give their secret pals gifts are heroes. So are people who keep coming up with creative ways to donate money to breast cancer research. And the people who stick to a healthy lifestyle even when they don't like it.
Basically, I consider anyone who does something I find difficult but valuable, a hero. That's what the superheroes do... difficult, but valuable work. I see heroes in the small, every day acts people perform.
I've always felt this way, but for a time, I used the amalgam of personal traits and character strengths of others as an impossible standard which I emotionally held myself to. Now I realize that I can just appreciate what Superman or Wonder Woman's got going on and that I don't necessarily need to go all Supergirl on the world.