I was watching an interview with Sammy Hagar, I’ll share the link at the end of this blog, and these two questions came to mind when it was over. Think what you will of his music. ( I am personally a fan) or which version of Van Halen you like better (I am a fan of both) but after listening to this interview you can’t help but love the guy. Small bits of information I picked up are how he donates to food banks in every town he plays in and often goes down in person to help. Why? As he says, “There is much more to charity than just writing a check.” Not to mention he set up an entire business (Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar and Grill) where the entire profits go to help children with terminal illnesses and their family. That, to me, is a stand up guy.
As I drove home I thought about the word ‘Hero’. Lately, a lot of attention has been given to that word. For once I am happy to say I think we have our head on straight as to how we are thinking about it. Perhaps because a lot of the folks we usually give those titles to, such as professional sports players and reality show actors are out of the picture and deemed ‘Not essential’ that we are able to focus on those who really make a difference. A lot of those in the medical profession, lower paid employees who show up daily just to make our lives easier, and anyone who puts themselves in danger so that our lives may be easier. Are these people your heroes? What makes them a hero? These are the questions that popped in my head as I drove home.
I thought about those whom I consider a hero. A name that comes to mind is Fred Rogers. Host of the television show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I admire him for his deep-rooted care and concern for youth. How he worked so hard to use the medium of television for something good. His ability to find the positive in even the darkest situation. One of my favorite things about both the man and the show was the importance he placed on what I refer to human fundamentals. I am pretty sure that is a term I just created, so allow me to expand on it. Human fundamentals are basic skills we all should learn to be a good…you guessed it, human! Many think of Fred Rogers as someone who just spoke to children, but I think his messages resonate just as much, if not more, with adults today. How many of us know someone who might benefit from the episode “What to do when you are mad”? There are many adults who are afraid to talk about their feelings and even if they could wouldn’t know the first thing about how to do it. He used to end each show by saying “You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the world like you, and I like you just the way you are.” How many people, ourselves included, could stand to hear that message?
Another name that comes to mind when I think of heroes is Mother Teresa. She was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. I always admire those who dedicate their lives to a spiritual pursuit even if I do not necessarily agree 100% with the dogma that comes with such things. What makes Mother Teresa special in my eyes is her social work that was done with a spiritual motivation. In 1950 she founded the Missionaries of Charity. It was a group of nuns that were active in over 133 countries as of 2012. They did far more than just preach and share their religious beliefs. They managed homes for those unfortunate souls dying of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, leprosy, tuberculosis and many others. They also ran schools, medical clinics, soup kitchens and a host of other useful services. What really impresses me about her is that she encouraged and let everyone know we are all capable of doing great things. We do them by doing even the small things with great love.
These people did not do any of what they did for fame and fortune. Although they did realize that the fame allowed them to do even more good. I am just a humble author and blog writer, but I do must best to use my gift with words to help as many people as I can and to make the world a better place the best I can. Those mentioned above, along with a host of others, inspire to do so. To me, what makes a hero is genuine integrity. Fred Rogers was the same person off camera as he was on camera. His concern for youth and for the world in general was genuine. Mother Teresa dedicated her life to helping the souls that many looked down upon. Sammy Hagar used his fame and fortune to help those less fortunate. I am sure all of these people have flaws, as we all do, but to me they are heroes for their integrity. Their desire to do the right thing. More importantly, wanting to it not for fame or fortune, but simply because it is the right thing to do. To me that is a hero and all of you out there doing what is right, simply because it is right, you are a hero in my book.