Tag Archives: hero

Hero of the Day

Let’s be honest. Professional sports has its share of problems. For the most part, the athletes are young, rich, and human. That is a lethal mix.

We rarely go a week without reading or hearing of some star’s extramarital affair, dui, or drug charge. However, there is a brighter side to that world. Athletes spend a great deal of time doing charity work. Some may argue for it’s for PR, but my question to those folks is, “what are you doing?”

Well, here’s a story that I think is pretty fantastic. The Toronto Star published an article on Sunday about an NBA player going out of his way to help a complete stranger.

Last week, Lucita Charles, a single mother of a 7-year-old son with cerebral palsy, was murdered. Enter Jamaal Magloire. He heard the story and his heart went out to the boy. Knowing he had the means to help, Jamaal paid for the funeral and is in the process of setting up a trust fund to provide for the boy’s welfare.

Money can never soothe the pain the little boy feels over the loss of his mother, but it must provide some relief to know someone is taking care of you.

It’s great to hear a story like that come out. The guy wasn’t doing it for publicity. He apparently was upset people even found out. You got to give the guy all the credit in the world for taking the necessary steps to help the young boy out.

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, Heroes, In the News, making a difference, Uncategorized

An Everyday Hero

Last night, my mom brought some Parker’s barbecue over to share with my family. While eating generous helpings of cornsticks, hushpuppies, fried chicken, potatoes, and barbecue I discovered something: mom is an everyday hero. An everyday hero is someone who gives their time, talents, and treasures to others without seeking the publicity.

For several years now, my mom has been visiting her mother in a retirement home. She would sit with her, play music for her, listen to the stories my grandmother loved to tell, and of course, bring her good food (Parker’s). My grandmother has since passed away, but my mom still makes the hour and a half long drive to visit.

It seems that her visits had not only brightened her mom’s week, but many of the other residents as well. Unlike her son, my mom is an extremely talented pianist. She inherited that from her mother. She’s played in churches, in schools, and in plays. Now, she plays to an enthralled audience who quickly gathers, knowing that her arrival means a sing-a-long is on the horizon.

Listening to my mom share fascinated me. She cared about these people. She doesn’t just go play her favorite songs. She listens to their stories and she’ll find sheet music to learn the songs the residents love. Most of them request 1920’s songs mixed in with songs such as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” or “How Much is That Doggy in the Window.”

As they listen and sing  along, the residents are taken back to another time and another place. I can only imagine the wellspring of memories the songs must provoke. First cars, first loves, war, peace, the Great Depression, children, and grandchildren. For the few hours they listen to the piano sing, they are young again.

It would be easy to forget about them. With the passing of my grandmother, my mom could have stopped the music. But she knows how much it means to them. She sees the sparkle in their eyes as she looks around the room. These are the people who paved the way for us and she honors them with her time and music. I’m glad their are people like my mom who show them they aren’t forgotten, that they still matter. She’ll never be featured on CNN or given an award for what she does, but I know there is a roomful of seniors counting down the days until her sweet songs fill the room again.

Do you know an everyday hero? I’d love to share their story! Just email me: becominglast@hotmail.com

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Filed under Examples of Sacrifice, making a difference, Serving Others, Uncategorized, volunteer

Five Rules for Being a Hero

I have certain weird fascinations that no normal guy should have. I like going to the hospital and eating in the cafeteria, I look forward to watching romcoms with my wife, I’ve watched a show on the CW and liked it, and going to the library makes it a good day.

Today is a good day. Several checked out books and an hour later, I arrived home from the library pumped over the new material to read. It did not disappoint. The first book I started reading was Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki. It’s well worth the time spent already, but my favorite part of it so far was just him quoting another author. He quotes these guys who wrote a book on heroism. Zeno Franco and Philip Zimbardo give five rules of heroism. Very cool stuff and here they are with my commentary attached. Think about these within a Becoming Last/Christian context.

  1. Maintain constant vigilance for situations that require heroic action – I love this one. Christians typically live very placid lives. For the most part, we just go about living until something comes up or until something offends us. What if we lived lives of constant vigilance? What if we diligently sought after ways to love, serve, and help people? We don’t need to develop a hero complex, but Christ came healing, serving, and sacrificing. If we’re to be Christ-like, I think this is a point to consider.
  2. Learn not to fear conflict because you took a stand – I hate conflict so I avoid it as much as possible. But there comes a time when one must make a stand or your beliefs aren’t worth much. We should not seek out conflict, but there may come times when we must not afraid to stand for something. Whether this be in a friendship, an ethical dilemma at work, or a political/religious issue, know there will inevitably be conflict. However, please be wary that our conflicts are not due to the way we act rather than the issue itself.
  3. Imagine alternative future scenarios beyond the present moment – Think eternally. We get so caught up in the now that we lose sight of proper perspective. This goes back to rule number one. We have so many things consuming our lives that it makes it impossible to maintain vigilance. As you make decisions about how you spend your time and your money, how you deal with conflict, or any other dilemma, remember to keep an eternal perspective.
  4. Resist the urge to rationalize and justify inaction – Think of any New Year’s Resolution you’ve made. Maybe it’s eating better. You start off strong. Then, you hit a week where you are struggling. You begin making excuses. “Well, I’ll just break it tonight.” “I had one last night. I’ll just start back next week.” “Yikes. I gained some weight. Maybe I’m not good at this. I’ll wait until a better time.” Instead of looking for reasons not to take action, make an effort to look for reasons to take action. Take some risks. Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be afraid of failure. Let’s stop being chained by our excuses and experience the freedom in serving and giving love to people unconditionally.
  5. Trust that people will appreciate heroic (and frequently unpopular) actions – This one I have a little harder time with. In the context of a business, this book is a business book, it makes sense. In Becoming Last, I’m not sure. We definitely don’t need to be bound by people’s opinions. However, some folks thrive on that. They think their heroic simply because the majority disagrees with them. My thought is: Live for an audience of One. That one being God, not yourself.  It’s such an easy thing to say, “Oh yeah, I live for God.” But, do we really? Spend some time in serious thought/prayer, read Scripture, and see if your life matches what God calls us to. I’m not saying it won’t. Just don’t assume it does.

I found these guys to be extremely insightful. They may not have spoken in a Christian context, but we could certainly learn from them.

So what do you think? Like their five rules? Would you add others?

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Filed under Books, christian, Excuses, purpose, Realizations