In the aftermath of a tragic moment, a hero can be born.
Heroes propel themselves from the ordinary to the extraordinary not in what they choose to do under ideal circumstances, but by what they can’t stomach avoiding in moments of immeasurable stress.
We need heroes when our world is shifted off its axis because they’re willing to pick up the pieces, no matter how crushed, damaged, or broken, and put them back together.
Heroes move while the rest of us sit mute in stunned silence. They do what others can only manage to watch. Heroes don’t have time to take pictures because they’re already working from inside the frame.
We need heroes because there is exponential strength in numbers.
If only for a moment, heroes ignore their ids and embrace their super-egos. They reject selfish and replace it with selfless. They sprint from the spotlight toward the trenches. They don’t think. They act.
We need heroes because they remind us that we’re all part of a tapestry much more rich and meaningful than the narrative of our individual lives.
Heroes don’t just rise to the occasion. They rewrite the rules.
We need heroes to inspire us. Generosity is contagious and grows without boundaries under the right conditions.
Heroes prove, by their humanitarian feats of kindness in the face of uncertainty, destruction, and death, that when the scale is tipped between good and evil, good always prevails.
We need heroes because they choose love over hate.
Heroes stand up for those who have fallen.
We need heroes because they are the living definition of patriotism and are the antidote to cowardice.
Heroes run to the places everyone else is trying to escape.
We need heroes because they make us believe in silver linings.
Heroes aren’t comic book characters pre-determined to walk the earth as Gods. They’re humans with flaws and frustrations. But in that moment when they choose to be something more? They engage. They are selfless. They serve. They overcome.
The world needs heroes because they remind us, in moments of bewilderment, confusion, and pain, that maybe, if confronted with an unexpected test of compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters, we could be heroes too.
If you would like to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, please contact the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army. Both organizations are providing much-needed support to survivors and first responders.