Last night I was watching Criminal Minds and one of my favorite aspects of the show is the quotes one of the characters recites at the beginning and end of each episode. I’ve made artwork out of some of them and from time to time when I need a reminder of something I will turn to them. The quote from last night’s episode was from Bernard Malamud: “Without heroes, we are all plain people and don’t know how far we can go.”
This got me thinking about my own heroes as a child – who I wanted to be like and tried to emulate as I was growing up. I was a big Wonder Woman fan and even had Underoos (remember them?) that mimicked her costume. She was my hero each week as she fought the bad guys and showed compassion to those around her. At the other end of the spectrum, I adored Catwoman from the Batman series. Although no one can compare with Eartha Kitt’s version of the character, those who came after her didn’t taint my image. Even though she was a villain, I thought she was awesome and would play act in my bedroom as a child that I was her. It’s funny how back then, it didn’t take much to keep a child happy.
We don’t hear a lot of talk about personal heroes today. We have our military and their heroism and honor goes without saying. But when it comes to those who impact our own individual lives, no one gives it a second thought. We are all so busy trying to stay ahead of everyone else, we have forgotten about – and don’t give credit to – those who helped us become who we are today.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that my heroes are those that have encouraged me when I had nothing left; who told me I could do whatever I wanted and be whatever I wanted no matter what. They have loved me unconditionally and never judged or questioned me. While they may not have agreed with every decision I’ve made in my life, they supported me without question. Isn’t that the mark of a true hero? Take a moment and think about the heroes in your own life; you’d be surprised how many you have.