Thursday, September 12, 2013

"There goes my hero. Watch him as he goes.There goes my hero. He's ordinary...."

"As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do."- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

        "Every day hero." Most of us have read or heard the expression. Few of us believe it applies to us.  After we rise each morning we are faced with a multitude of choices affecting our destiny. Today you woke up angry after fighting a terrible nights sleep. Tossing and turning, you worried about mounting debt and paying bills. Tense, you yell at your spouse who then becomes bitterly flustered and upset. They take their frustrations out on the children who then carry that anger to school and bully their classmates. One morning you wake up after a peaceful beautiful dream. You lovingly kiss your spouse and children before leaving home. At your favorite coffee shop you smile contently while tipping the server more than usual and complement a stranger sitting in the cafe alone. When you actually break down your seemingly ordinary every day interactions and become consciously aware of how you choose to treat others it's difficult to ignore need or turn away from pain. There are no small actions. Every day we take our simple ordinary choices and our own loved ones for granted. Most of us will never fully appreciate what we have in our lives until we are forced to lose it all. For some living with persistent personal tragedy or a life altering disability is unimaginable. Life is hard. Life is a heroic struggle full of obstacles we must overcome. Day to day, life is an endless cycle of suffering for millions of human beings. So when we unearth the hidden treasure of  purpose, fulfillment or happiness or even catch a brief brilliant glimpse of meaning shining in anothers eyes we need to see it as the extraordinary gift it really is.  Albert Einstein is quoted as saying  “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  Life is a miraculous cosmic ballet of which you are the ordinary dancing hero.

      One day you too may become awestruck by the amazing accomplishments of an "every day hero" or even marvel at a hero dog. September has been named National Service Dog Month  and while guide dogs are the main focus of National Service Dog Month this year will also highlight dogs who assist our brave service men and women both on and off the battlefield. Military Service or Working Dogs are unbelievably courageous canines who put their lives on the line in order to protect military posts, detect explosives and sniff out contraband. Companion animals prescribed to U.S. military veterans for various physical and psychological conditions, including traumatic brain injuries, mobility issues, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, are at the center of the awareness campaign this year. The video below is an example of  "every day heroes" in action.