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Looking for Heroes…

Posted By: Randy GageFebruary 19, 2013

Seems we’ve been murmuring, “Say it ain’t so!” a lot lately.  Dan Marino having an affair.  Another bunch of athletes linked to PEDs.  The recent confession of Lance Armstrong.   And now the shocking revelations in the Oscar Pistorius murder inquiry. 

If you allow it to, it can leave you a little depressed, even jaded.

We love to build up heroes and make them superhuman.  Then we’re crushed to find out they’re only human after all.    The media excels at this and just when someone is at the height of popularity, they do a take down piece playing to all the most prevalent memes.  But maybe the problem is the expectations we set…

Playing a sport with extraordinary skills doesn’t make you a hero.  It makes you an extraordinary athlete.

As a Miami resident, I can tell you Dan Marino is beloved here and done a lot of charitable work.  Lance Armstrong used his fame to help and inspire others on a level few have ever done.  And Oscar Pistorius’ yes I’ll say it – heroic – efforts in the Olympics raised hopes for millions around the world.   And yes, they have made mistakes, because they are still human.

So maybe we should appreciate the inspiration they provided for us, and redefine our definition of heroes.  The surface answer would say stop looking to the sports world for heroes.  But the stories of Amstrong and Pistorious were bigger than sports.  They inspired us with the power of the human spirit.   And for the same reason, then disappointed us just as profoundly.  We would be wise to remember that the motivation to win a race, a championship, or a medal isn’t always the best incentive to do the right thing.

If we refine the definition, there are still plenty of heroes out there.  The media doesn’t cover these stories, but that doesn’t make them any less heroic. 

I have lots of heroes:  One of them is my mom, a single mother who raised three kids knocking on doors selling AVON.   And then my sister Liese, who had to raise her own two kids, when she lost her husband to cancer. My friend Miguel Ramos who took in a baby girl in foster care and then adopted her.  Baxter Richardson, the schoolteacher who came in my jail cell and told me I was capable of great things.  My friends John Duffy and Frank Sweeny who adopted a boy from Kids in Distress.

The first responders who protect us in danger are true heroes.  So are the volunteers at your local hospice.   And the teachers who teach for the love, not the money.    The coaches, counselors and scoutmasters who teach our children the principles of a life well lived.  Parents who are raising children with special needs might just skip a level and instantly go to Superhero.

Heroes are human and they make mistakes.  But if we find the right heroes and celebrate them for true heroism – there are still plenty to believe in.

So let’s not lament the heroes who have failed to live up to our expectations – but celebrate the many other ones that do, every day.

-RG

39 comments on “Looking for Heroes…”

  1. Thank's Randy! GREAT article and SO true - The true heroes are there for you "in the most tough times" of your life - like you said - the guy that believed in YOU, when everyones else including yourself, thought nothing of you. I know you are very successful today Randy, but you are MY HERO, nomatter what you or others think or would say aboout it! You restored my childhood belief in this world, when I had lost all hope to find it somewhere, thought it was an extinct kind of human, that honestly wanted just to help other people to succes and happiness in all areas of their life and by that creating a wonderful world - Only found in fairytales - Untill I found YOU on facebook! I cried that day, as I do now, because you restored my belief in life worth living - don't get me wrong - I LOVE LIFE - and have always been a very positive and happy person - but I also saw all this fake all around me and saw that no one was really happy, although they said so. Thank's for being who you are!
    Lots of LOVE to you from Denmark
    Lene

  2. Thank's Randy! GREAT article and SO true - The true heroes are there for you "in the most tough times" of your life - like you said - the guy that believed in YOU, when everyones else including yourself, thought nothing of you. I know you are very successful today Randy, but you are MY HERO, nomatter what you or others think or would say aboout it! You restored my childhood belief in this world, when I had lost all hope to find it somewhere, thought it was an extinct kind of human, that honestly wanted just to help other people to succes and happiness in all areas of their life and by that creating a wonderful world - Only found in fairytales - Untill I found YOU on facebook! I cried that day, as I do now, because you restored my belief in life worth living - don't get me wrong - I LOVE LIFE - and have always been a very positive and happy person - but I also saw all this fake all around me and saw that no one was really happy, although they said so. Thank's for being who you are!
    Lots of LOVE to you from Denmark
    Lene

  3. Oscar.
    I was so proud of him and his achievements, his demand to get on the same level like all the other healthy sports people - now I am trying to understand for a while why he has to face such a bad awakening which will lock him for the rest of his life.
    But YES, there are many others out there who get less attention while doing the good stuff, while being there, not viewing their names in newspaper headlines but keeping the HERO pool alive - and kicking!

  4. Oscar.
    I was so proud of him and his achievements, his demand to get on the same level like all the other healthy sports people - now I am trying to understand for a while why he has to face such a bad awakening which will lock him for the rest of his life.
    But YES, there are many others out there who get less attention while doing the good stuff, while being there, not viewing their names in newspaper headlines but keeping the HERO pool alive - and kicking!

  5. In keeping with what you have mentioned countless times where minimizing contracting the 'mind viruses' or memes that proliferate via the media, I don't pay attention to any of this crap.. And sorry for using the word, but to me, it IS crap. As you say, we're ALL human and therefore subject  to making errors. But it's what in our heart and how we live life with PURPOSE that matters. "If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader"..

  6. In keeping with what you have mentioned countless times where minimizing contracting the 'mind viruses' or memes that proliferate via the media, I don't pay attention to any of this crap.. And sorry for using the word, but to me, it IS crap. As you say, we're ALL human and therefore subject  to making errors. But it's what in our heart and how we live life with PURPOSE that matters. "If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader"..

  7. The media is so adept at manipulating our emotions to create -- and subsequently destroy -- "false" heroes, I prefer, like you suggested, to choose my heroes from the people I know personally. They may not be celebrities or even "household names", but I know they're real and their stories are genuine. (Of course, one of my heroes for over 20 years now has been you, Randy. Keep on inspiring me!) -jim

  8. The media is so adept at manipulating our emotions to create -- and subsequently destroy -- "false" heroes, I prefer, like you suggested, to choose my heroes from the people I know personally. They may not be celebrities or even "household names", but I know they're real and their stories are genuine. (Of course, one of my heroes for over 20 years now has been you, Randy. Keep on inspiring me!) -jim

  9. We put so much emphasis on the word hero these days and just throw the word around that, at least to me, it seems to mean less than it did. Just as your post states, let's reserve the word for true heroes, not just those that have simply gotten more media attention or perhaps have been more gifted than others.

  10. We put so much emphasis on the word hero these days and just throw the word around that, at least to me, it seems to mean less than it did. Just as your post states, let's reserve the word for true heroes, not just those that have simply gotten more media attention or perhaps have been more gifted than others.

  11. So, MOST people could also be Heroes.  You have a weird attitude regarding broke people.  They are either MOST people or heroes.    You do know of course MOST people in helping professions don't make the kind of money it would take for you to not call them broke.
     
    Well, whatever works.  Whatever sells......  Right?

  12. So, MOST people could also be Heroes.  You have a weird attitude regarding broke people.  They are either MOST people or heroes.    You do know of course MOST people in helping professions don't make the kind of money it would take for you to not call them broke.
     
    Well, whatever works.  Whatever sells......  Right?

  13. Hmmf......How rude.  If you must know, I did NOT wake up cranky.  I had a stomach ache when I wrote that.  It is nice that you called your Mommy a hero. 
     
    However, your messages do seem a bit inconsistent at times.

  14. Hmmf......How rude.  If you must know, I did NOT wake up cranky.  I had a stomach ache when I wrote that.  It is nice that you called your Mommy a hero. 
     
    However, your messages do seem a bit inconsistent at times.

  15. Great Post... Couldn't agree more...  We all make mistakes, we are all Learning, Playing and Growing, and NONE of us is Perfect...  and we as a Society need to stop Judging people...  The people you listed above all have done some AMAZING things for Society and we need to also NOT forget that...

  16. Great Post... Couldn't agree more...  We all make mistakes, we are all Learning, Playing and Growing, and NONE of us is Perfect...  and we as a Society need to stop Judging people...  The people you listed above all have done some AMAZING things for Society and we need to also NOT forget that...

  17. I really don't know exactly how I feel about this post. I mean, "Heroism" is more than just living our day to day lives. If you are on autopilot then how does that make a hero? Yes, policemen, fire fighters, teachers are out there on the "job" but that doesn't really make any difference if what they have been doing is the same for the past, I don't know, thousand years maybe. You are a hero Randy, yes you are, because you are making a difference to thousands, if not millions of people. Here's my say to this: "We should really choose who we consider as heroes because not all policemen, fire fighters, teachers, parents, etc. out there are heroes."

  18. I really don't know exactly how I feel about this post. I mean, "Heroism" is more than just living our day to day lives. If you are on autopilot then how does that make a hero? Yes, policemen, fire fighters, teachers are out there on the "job" but that doesn't really make any difference if what they have been doing is the same for the past, I don't know, thousand years maybe. You are a hero Randy, yes you are, because you are making a difference to thousands, if not millions of people. Here's my say to this: "We should really choose who we consider as heroes because not all policemen, fire fighters, teachers, parents, etc. out there are heroes."

  19. The real heroes are those God would consider as heroes of humanity. We make all judgements based on our paradigm but we need to, maybe, understand God's standards for humanity. These are absolute because they are from our Creator. Sometimes more than the action, the motive behind it is important. Pure selfless deeds accompanied by a pure motive to better humanity will always be admired and cherished.

  20. The real heroes are those God would consider as heroes of humanity. We make all judgements based on our paradigm but we need to, maybe, understand God's standards for humanity. These are absolute because they are from our Creator. Sometimes more than the action, the motive behind it is important. Pure selfless deeds accompanied by a pure motive to better humanity will always be admired and cherished.

  21. Hi Randy,
     
    We are all one and we can see heroes from this One-ness in any moment. People who go above and beyond in any moment, people from....everywhere. All walks of life. Because somebody does something before millions does not make them a hero before the guy next door who saves lives on a daily basis. Both are heroes. Both might be human and screw up. The hero cop might be so overwhelmed by his fears, terrors and anxieties that he turns to alcohol to quell the terrors, and maybe he beats his wife, or drives under the influence. He is human. Just like the world class inspiring athlete who lies and makes mistakes. Rather than attaching to one person try focusing on the heroic acts you see from this One-ness, every moment of every day, and you will be less likely to worship and one hero and more likely to appreciate the heroic acts around you each hour of each day.
     
    Thanks Randy!
     
    Ryan

  22. Hi Randy,
     
    We are all one and we can see heroes from this One-ness in any moment. People who go above and beyond in any moment, people from....everywhere. All walks of life. Because somebody does something before millions does not make them a hero before the guy next door who saves lives on a daily basis. Both are heroes. Both might be human and screw up. The hero cop might be so overwhelmed by his fears, terrors and anxieties that he turns to alcohol to quell the terrors, and maybe he beats his wife, or drives under the influence. He is human. Just like the world class inspiring athlete who lies and makes mistakes. Rather than attaching to one person try focusing on the heroic acts you see from this One-ness, every moment of every day, and you will be less likely to worship and one hero and more likely to appreciate the heroic acts around you each hour of each day.
     
    Thanks Randy!
     
    Ryan

  23. "And the teachers who teach for the love, not the money." 
    Well I see a little bit of lack programming here.
    I guess the best teacher is the teacher who teaches for both love and money. In my personal opinion both are important.It like with leg or arm which one is more important?

    I think we need both and same goes with both love and money.

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  • 39 comments on “Looking for Heroes…”

    1. Thank's Randy! GREAT article and SO true - The true heroes are there for you "in the most tough times" of your life - like you said - the guy that believed in YOU, when everyones else including yourself, thought nothing of you. I know you are very successful today Randy, but you are MY HERO, nomatter what you or others think or would say aboout it! You restored my childhood belief in this world, when I had lost all hope to find it somewhere, thought it was an extinct kind of human, that honestly wanted just to help other people to succes and happiness in all areas of their life and by that creating a wonderful world - Only found in fairytales - Untill I found YOU on facebook! I cried that day, as I do now, because you restored my belief in life worth living - don't get me wrong - I LOVE LIFE - and have always been a very positive and happy person - but I also saw all this fake all around me and saw that no one was really happy, although they said so. Thank's for being who you are!
      Lots of LOVE to you from Denmark
      Lene

    2. Thank's Randy! GREAT article and SO true - The true heroes are there for you "in the most tough times" of your life - like you said - the guy that believed in YOU, when everyones else including yourself, thought nothing of you. I know you are very successful today Randy, but you are MY HERO, nomatter what you or others think or would say aboout it! You restored my childhood belief in this world, when I had lost all hope to find it somewhere, thought it was an extinct kind of human, that honestly wanted just to help other people to succes and happiness in all areas of their life and by that creating a wonderful world - Only found in fairytales - Untill I found YOU on facebook! I cried that day, as I do now, because you restored my belief in life worth living - don't get me wrong - I LOVE LIFE - and have always been a very positive and happy person - but I also saw all this fake all around me and saw that no one was really happy, although they said so. Thank's for being who you are!
      Lots of LOVE to you from Denmark
      Lene

    3. Oscar.
      I was so proud of him and his achievements, his demand to get on the same level like all the other healthy sports people - now I am trying to understand for a while why he has to face such a bad awakening which will lock him for the rest of his life.
      But YES, there are many others out there who get less attention while doing the good stuff, while being there, not viewing their names in newspaper headlines but keeping the HERO pool alive - and kicking!

    4. Oscar.
      I was so proud of him and his achievements, his demand to get on the same level like all the other healthy sports people - now I am trying to understand for a while why he has to face such a bad awakening which will lock him for the rest of his life.
      But YES, there are many others out there who get less attention while doing the good stuff, while being there, not viewing their names in newspaper headlines but keeping the HERO pool alive - and kicking!

    5. In keeping with what you have mentioned countless times where minimizing contracting the 'mind viruses' or memes that proliferate via the media, I don't pay attention to any of this crap.. And sorry for using the word, but to me, it IS crap. As you say, we're ALL human and therefore subject  to making errors. But it's what in our heart and how we live life with PURPOSE that matters. "If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader"..

    6. In keeping with what you have mentioned countless times where minimizing contracting the 'mind viruses' or memes that proliferate via the media, I don't pay attention to any of this crap.. And sorry for using the word, but to me, it IS crap. As you say, we're ALL human and therefore subject  to making errors. But it's what in our heart and how we live life with PURPOSE that matters. "If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are an excellent leader"..

    7. The media is so adept at manipulating our emotions to create -- and subsequently destroy -- "false" heroes, I prefer, like you suggested, to choose my heroes from the people I know personally. They may not be celebrities or even "household names", but I know they're real and their stories are genuine. (Of course, one of my heroes for over 20 years now has been you, Randy. Keep on inspiring me!) -jim

    8. The media is so adept at manipulating our emotions to create -- and subsequently destroy -- "false" heroes, I prefer, like you suggested, to choose my heroes from the people I know personally. They may not be celebrities or even "household names", but I know they're real and their stories are genuine. (Of course, one of my heroes for over 20 years now has been you, Randy. Keep on inspiring me!) -jim

    9. We put so much emphasis on the word hero these days and just throw the word around that, at least to me, it seems to mean less than it did. Just as your post states, let's reserve the word for true heroes, not just those that have simply gotten more media attention or perhaps have been more gifted than others.

    10. We put so much emphasis on the word hero these days and just throw the word around that, at least to me, it seems to mean less than it did. Just as your post states, let's reserve the word for true heroes, not just those that have simply gotten more media attention or perhaps have been more gifted than others.

    11. So, MOST people could also be Heroes.  You have a weird attitude regarding broke people.  They are either MOST people or heroes.    You do know of course MOST people in helping professions don't make the kind of money it would take for you to not call them broke.
       
      Well, whatever works.  Whatever sells......  Right?

    12. So, MOST people could also be Heroes.  You have a weird attitude regarding broke people.  They are either MOST people or heroes.    You do know of course MOST people in helping professions don't make the kind of money it would take for you to not call them broke.
       
      Well, whatever works.  Whatever sells......  Right?

    13. Hmmf......How rude.  If you must know, I did NOT wake up cranky.  I had a stomach ache when I wrote that.  It is nice that you called your Mommy a hero. 
       
      However, your messages do seem a bit inconsistent at times.

    14. Hmmf......How rude.  If you must know, I did NOT wake up cranky.  I had a stomach ache when I wrote that.  It is nice that you called your Mommy a hero. 
       
      However, your messages do seem a bit inconsistent at times.

    15. Great Post... Couldn't agree more...  We all make mistakes, we are all Learning, Playing and Growing, and NONE of us is Perfect...  and we as a Society need to stop Judging people...  The people you listed above all have done some AMAZING things for Society and we need to also NOT forget that...

    16. Great Post... Couldn't agree more...  We all make mistakes, we are all Learning, Playing and Growing, and NONE of us is Perfect...  and we as a Society need to stop Judging people...  The people you listed above all have done some AMAZING things for Society and we need to also NOT forget that...

    17. I really don't know exactly how I feel about this post. I mean, "Heroism" is more than just living our day to day lives. If you are on autopilot then how does that make a hero? Yes, policemen, fire fighters, teachers are out there on the "job" but that doesn't really make any difference if what they have been doing is the same for the past, I don't know, thousand years maybe. You are a hero Randy, yes you are, because you are making a difference to thousands, if not millions of people. Here's my say to this: "We should really choose who we consider as heroes because not all policemen, fire fighters, teachers, parents, etc. out there are heroes."

    18. I really don't know exactly how I feel about this post. I mean, "Heroism" is more than just living our day to day lives. If you are on autopilot then how does that make a hero? Yes, policemen, fire fighters, teachers are out there on the "job" but that doesn't really make any difference if what they have been doing is the same for the past, I don't know, thousand years maybe. You are a hero Randy, yes you are, because you are making a difference to thousands, if not millions of people. Here's my say to this: "We should really choose who we consider as heroes because not all policemen, fire fighters, teachers, parents, etc. out there are heroes."

    19. The real heroes are those God would consider as heroes of humanity. We make all judgements based on our paradigm but we need to, maybe, understand God's standards for humanity. These are absolute because they are from our Creator. Sometimes more than the action, the motive behind it is important. Pure selfless deeds accompanied by a pure motive to better humanity will always be admired and cherished.

    20. The real heroes are those God would consider as heroes of humanity. We make all judgements based on our paradigm but we need to, maybe, understand God's standards for humanity. These are absolute because they are from our Creator. Sometimes more than the action, the motive behind it is important. Pure selfless deeds accompanied by a pure motive to better humanity will always be admired and cherished.

    21. Hi Randy,
       
      We are all one and we can see heroes from this One-ness in any moment. People who go above and beyond in any moment, people from....everywhere. All walks of life. Because somebody does something before millions does not make them a hero before the guy next door who saves lives on a daily basis. Both are heroes. Both might be human and screw up. The hero cop might be so overwhelmed by his fears, terrors and anxieties that he turns to alcohol to quell the terrors, and maybe he beats his wife, or drives under the influence. He is human. Just like the world class inspiring athlete who lies and makes mistakes. Rather than attaching to one person try focusing on the heroic acts you see from this One-ness, every moment of every day, and you will be less likely to worship and one hero and more likely to appreciate the heroic acts around you each hour of each day.
       
      Thanks Randy!
       
      Ryan

    22. Hi Randy,
       
      We are all one and we can see heroes from this One-ness in any moment. People who go above and beyond in any moment, people from....everywhere. All walks of life. Because somebody does something before millions does not make them a hero before the guy next door who saves lives on a daily basis. Both are heroes. Both might be human and screw up. The hero cop might be so overwhelmed by his fears, terrors and anxieties that he turns to alcohol to quell the terrors, and maybe he beats his wife, or drives under the influence. He is human. Just like the world class inspiring athlete who lies and makes mistakes. Rather than attaching to one person try focusing on the heroic acts you see from this One-ness, every moment of every day, and you will be less likely to worship and one hero and more likely to appreciate the heroic acts around you each hour of each day.
       
      Thanks Randy!
       
      Ryan

    23. "And the teachers who teach for the love, not the money." 
      Well I see a little bit of lack programming here.
      I guess the best teacher is the teacher who teaches for both love and money. In my personal opinion both are important.It like with leg or arm which one is more important?

      I think we need both and same goes with both love and money.

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