One of the most revealing things that come to you as you grow up (or age if you prefer!) is that heroes don’t necessarily wear capes. You don’t need to seek them in the annals of time either.
They are all around you. Your friends, your peers, your family, your team, your acquaintances are all doing stuff worthy of a hundred batmen (and batwomen). We only need the eyes to see.
A few years ago, a much-loved colleague succumbed to Cancer. He was soft-spoken, honest and a great team guy. He wasn’t one of the glory-seeking guys and was content to let things be. He was the sole earning member and had immaculate habits – if anyone had a right to despair and ask “why me” – it was he. And yet, as the inevitable sunk in, he went about marshalling finances for his young family, giving them the strength to catty on – all of it in his quiet, understated way. On his death, the turnout was immense. He had touched so many lives in little but remarkable ways.
This morning, the gentleman who delivers mineral water cans stopped by at our door. When our RO machine had trouble during the height of the COVID, we had reached out to him (on reference from a neighbour), and he promptly added us to his customer list. He is a model citizen – wears masks, maintains social distancing and always sports a smile. When our RO was finally fixed, we anyway decided to continue with his services – that’s what excellent customer service can do! But it wasn’t time to deliver a can – so why was he here? Displaying a smile even more expansive than usual, he handed over a pack of sweets. It was his son’s birthday, and he decided to celebrate it by sharing happiness with all his customers. Of course, we showered our blessings on the young kid. The kid was probably the most blessed in the neighbourhood today.
Now put yourself in the shoes of that kid. Wouldn’t your dad be your biggest hero?
The pandemic has brought in a lot of stress. But our heroes make sure that the impact is reduced. A colleague takes extraordinary care of her elderly parents while also making a difference to her organisation. A young friend has had his world turned upside down when his wife is diagnosed with Cancer. And yet he solders on taking care of his wife and his daughter lovingly and going about his daily business. A wife allows her husband to exit from a. Corporate career to pursue his passions and cheerfully works on the revised family budgets. People share their generosity silently. They open their purses and time to those in need. None of this makes news – they aren’t big enough for capturing a nation’s attention, nor do the heroes crave the publicity. These are done because as humans, this is who we are – we care and share unconditionally.
I am sure all of you readers out there are heroes too. Just ask your spouse, kids, parents, children, friends, extended families, neighbours, colleagues or people you employ and buy from. They all would be a testament to this spark of humanity and courage in you. We should raise a toast to this extraordinary trait in all of us. And also take a pledge to pay even more attention to all the acts of kindness that surround us. Agree?