Do you have a hero? Are YOU somebody’s hero? How does this make you feel? If you have children, who do they consider a hero? Is this person someone you think is worthy?
According to Webster’s
HERO: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities
Before thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2008 I was a site director of a middle school after school program in upstate New York. Having been there for 3 years, I had developed strong relationships with many of my students, especially a handful of boys who were part of my Outdoor Club. Many of these students had difficulty in school and really blossomed when we got out of the classroom and into the wonderful world of Nature.
I kept in touch with several of them during my AT thru-hike and at one point one of them told me I was his hero. At the time, I thought of my life as lacking accomplishments and was blown away by this admission. Being someone’s hero was not something I set out to be, but knowing I was had tremendous power. Because in the many moments when I struggled and considered quitting, I thought of that student and how disappointed he would be if I didn’t finish.
There is someone whom I came to “know” recently who speaks of learning from an army of strangers that he is their hero and how amazing of a feeling that is.
The man’s name is Drew Lynch and he is a contestant–a comedian– on the popular TV show called America’s Got Talent. While I am not a big fan of TV, there are a handful of shows that I consider to be very inspiring. This is one of them.
In a recent interview, 23 year old Drew spoke of the fan mail his presence on the show has inspired and how this was never something he considered. From people of all ages and walks of life, the letters tell him what an inspiration he is and how his life and path have led others to believe in themselves.
See, Drew Lynch was just a regular kid doing regular kid things. Until one day when he was 20 and was playing softball. In a moment he will likely remember forever, he got hit with a ball in the throat. And now, as a result, speaks with a stutter. Imagine having everything you ever want to say have to come out with a stutter. Imagine how challenging this would be at any age–but 20!?
This challenge would have crippled many people. It would have been looked at as the most terrible thing ever and a reason to choose a job that doesn’t require talking. But Drew Lynch has chosen just the opposite–a career as a comedian. In doing so, he has chosen not to hide his disability, but to embrace it wholeheartedly. In this age when so many of our “heroes” are not really heroes at all, Drew Lynch is the ultimate example of a hero for so many people.
And that brings me to this week’s quote:
In the presence of trouble, some people grow wings; others buy crutches. –Harold W. Ruoff
Who is your hero? Here’s another post I wrote a while back about a hero of mine.