There are so many heroes. Big heroes and small heroes. Even, the very small heroes. We have our fire fighters, our police, first responders, nurses, doctors, soldiers, teachers, librarians….the list could go on and on.
We all have the capacity to be heroes. Wise words: look to the good people, look for the good people. They are…ALWAYS…there. Always.
Yesterday, for 9/11, we commemorated the first responders, the dispatchers, the police and fire forces, the flight crew members, the soldiers…and the ordinary people who stepped up and did extraordinary acts of bravery.
Today, perhaps, we can commemorate the “little” people. The ungrouped people. The unsung heroes of daily life. The people who don’t have to step in, but do it anyway. You know who I’m talking about. The single, small angel who shows up exactly when needed, does just a small but miraculous/perfect thing, appears and then disappears. The unsung hero. The angel.
Looking for the good people is an action step and a practice. Our job is to look for, and see, when people are being good and doing good. Look for the good people in amongst the gunk, the gunk which is fear and anger and the not-so-good behaviors that those emotional responses call up. We’ve all been the ugly people too. Acting from our places of fear and anger and frustration, instead of the place we’d rather be drawing our words and acts from (compassion, peace, love, grace).
Our job is to look for, and see, when people are being good and doing good. But too often, we get caught up in the this-and-that happened instead. The ugly stuff makes a better story…on the news AND in our owns lives. PAUSE. We share the emotional, messy, even ugly stories, far quicker than the good ones. I like to think that this is perhaps because the good stuff is always happening around us and that’s why we don’t see it. That the ugly stuff is more unusual, loud, and scary…
What about the cashier that smiled and chatted with you because you looked distracted or down-hearted or down-trodden or sad. Or just smiled and was kind, because they’re good and kind, if “ordinary” and “small”.
What about the stranger that noticed you dropped a fifty dollar bill and called you back to return it to you.
What about that observer who picked up their cell phone to make sure help was called in and not to turn on the video and record someone else’s tragedy, mishap, or accident. The person who didn’t want to be “first to report” or “noticed” (it’s not just in the real news where this is happening). Who do we notice? The person who took a video of the story that wasn’t their own (yoga students: this is part of that “stealing” practice we’ve talked about in classes). Did we share the video of the story that we sure know never should have been recorded or shared…even if the ending was happy?
What about that acquaintance that notices (or heard) somethings seems up with you and stops you in the store to see how you’re doing. Maybe it seems they just want the “story”, maybe you’re kind of irritated and thinking they are “fishing”. But they shared their time with you. They did reach out, however awkward it might have been.
Action steps: notice when people are being kind and good or trying to be good and kind.
Someone leaves a mum on your porch, knowing you need a little extra love this week.
Someone brings you a cup of coffee. Someone you know. A stranger.
We only see the bad and ugly if we only see the bad and the ugly. Look for the good.
Action steps. Choose to step in and be kind. Choose to step in with the intention to do good and be helpful, even if you might feel you did or will fail miserably (if we’re looking for the good, all of us, others will find the good in what you did or said). So do it anyway, especially if it feels hard (that’s a sign that we need…practice) Heroes listen, notice, see, hear. Step in. Heroes also need to be seen and heard.
Be the person that sees and listens. See the Good. In everyone. See the Light, the God Light (whatever you want to call it) in everyone.
Practice. Emulate kindness and courage. Try, even and especially, when it seems the hardest.
What do we remember of our days? Do we look for the good people? Do we practice good?
Have the courage to see and hear.
Have the courage to try.
Have the courage when you have no idea what to do.
Here’s to the unsung heroes and all we have to learn from one another. Here’s to living a good, kind, courageous life following the footsteps of Jesus.