This is a concept I’ve been thinking about for a while. In many books and films, we are told over and over that, the guy at the end, after saving all the lives, is the hero. The women who takes down the bad guy, in heels no less, is the definition of a hero. The person who can kick the most ass. The person who can leave the biggest mark. That is the definition of a hero.
Even in every day lives, people are always trying to leave their mark. I have a friend who actually said to me “I don’t care if I leave a bad or good mark on the world, as long as I leave a mark” the idea that it doesn’t matter how we affect people, or the world in general, as long as we are remembered, seems more important. Being remembered is what constitutes a hero is not something I’m okay with. This concept of being remembered bleeds through to celebrity culture as well. Reality stars and celebrities want to be famous no matter what. Weather it is for good acting, or for that sex tape they made. And what is tragic about this is that, this never leaves to people being remembered.
It’s something that terrifies me. Because people are getting it wrong. People can leave such a huge impact on your life, not by doing something big and stupid. But by doing the little things that matter in the end. When we aim to do big actions, what we often end up doing is leaving big wounds upon the world. It’s when we intend to do big gestures that we usually end up leaving the biggest scar. A coup becomes a dictatorship, a big rock star who wants to be remembered, become s a drug addled loser, that no one remembers, but if they do, they are only remembered with contempt.
There are everyday heroes, nurses, doctors, people saving lives. People who work in charities, soups kitchens, homeless shelters. Doing little things, which make a big difference. That is what true heroism is. Doing something not for yourself, not to be noticed or for glory. But truly selfless acts. It seems obvious, but clearly it isn’t. Because in our society today we are surrounded by people that buy into the notion that being remembered equates the same as being a hero. That if you are remembered that it makes you Someone with a capital S. When it doesn’t. If it makes you anything, it makes you a bit of a dick.
So I leave you with this story of how my friend saved my life when I was younger. And she didn’t even know it. And even to this day, continues to be one of the sweetest and kindest people I know.
When I was younger I was run over by a land rover discovery. I got squished. I was only 8 years old, and my little head caved in under the bars of that massive car. Spoiler alert. Don’t worry, I lived. But I was in hospital a long time (as you can imagine) most kids that came and visited me from my junior school, never really sat with me, they were after all, only 8 years old. All apart from one little girl. She sat and played with me while I was broken. Every week. She kept me company, played games with me. I was stuck in that bed for over 2 months, but when she came, it didn’t feel as much as a prision.
When I was finally released from hospital I was in a wheel chair for a long time, and couldn’t really get about. After I was out of hospital, no one really saw me again. Apart from that little girl who sat and played with me. Every week, she would sit with me. And she never made me feel different when I was in that wheelchair, she made me feel like I wouldn’t be broken for ever, and more importantly she was a friend when I was too young to truly understand the isolation I was feeling.
And that wonderful little girl has grown up and has carried on being one of the most dearest friend I could ask for. No matter what happens, she is always there for me, with a smile, a hug and some wise words.
She never did any of that for any other reason than, to help me, not for awards, or recognition. Just because she was a lovely human being.
I will never be able to repay her for all the kindness she has shown me. And I kind of hope I never have to pay her back. I never want her to suffer, or need someone to look after her. But I will be there if and when she needs me.
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