Homebound Hero

Homebound Hero

Who is my hero? Well that all depends on what you define a hero to be. Some may see a hero as the archetypal “muscle man,” with chiseled abs that are visible through his tight fitting, monogrammed jumpsuit, sprinting out of a burning building and carrying the child whose life he just saved. Others may elect heroes who have made notable contributions in history, or affected the lives of millions of people, such as Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, or Martin Luther King. While I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for these individuals and the revolutionary accomplishments they made, (be it Superman spinning the world in the other direction, or Gandhi leading the nonviolent protests in India) my own personal hero is one of who may be farther away from having a celebrity status, but is certainly closer to my home and my heart. 

When thinking about who my hero was, I had to first stop and ask myself what it meant. In searching various textbook definitions of a hero I came across: “(1) a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength, (2) someone who fights for a cause, (3) the principal personage in a poem, story, and the like, or the person who has the principal share in the transactions related; as Achilles in the Iliad, Ulysses in the Odyssey, and Aeneas in the Aeneid, or (4) a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (Webster). Yet this is troubling to me. A hero should not necessarily be defined by gender, physical capabilities, ancient mythology, or common lunchtime staples. To me a hero is someone who impacts the lives of those around them in a positive and uplifting manner, and genuinely contributes to the optimal wellbeing of those that surround them. For this, I look to my mother.

My mother has always had a natural drive towards helping people. Weather it is someone she meets standing in line at the grocery store, or the students at Bahia Vista Elementary school works she volunteers, she always has a genuine concern for others, and wants to do whatever she can to help them. I have always admired this about my mother, but what I find particularly unique about her, is her motivation towards behaving this way. She doesn’t do it out of obligation, in attempts to like a good person, or even to make herself feel better. Rather, she knows what she is passionate about, and understands what people need to feel valued and esteemed. What’s more is that she does this without even trying. Her beliefs and actions are authentic and sincere, which is what allows her to give off such a naturally warm and accepting vibe to those around her.

As I was growing up, my mother acted as my moral compass. She never explicitly lectured me, on doing service work, volunteering or putting the needs of others before my own; rather demonstrated these behaviors herself, and guided me towards developing these same characteristics. She showed me how to find something that I love and feel passionate about, and encouraged me to work towards being as successful as I can be in this field.

In addition, she is my hero because she just knows. Her motherly instinct is indisputable, and I know that whatever emotion I express to her, at any given time, my mother is there to either celebrating or remedy the way I feel. Seeing me happy makes her happy too, but if I am feeling down, she knows exactly what to say and what to do, in order to turn this around. In fact, sometimes she doesn’t have to say anything at all, because simply by being there, I am prompted to feel better. This, if nothing more, is heroic. She is willing to sacrifice anything, when she knows I am in need, and never fails at being the centre of my world.

My mother is my hero because of She does not feel the need to prove herself, and she is confident in what she feels strongly about, doing everything she can to help. This motivation emanates from of her own inspiration, enthusiasm and will power.  She doesn’t have to try to impress people, or explicitly teach her children about right versus wrong. She just lives. Lives naturally, and acts in a way that brings guidance, knowledge and love to those around her, and spreading these qualities to everyone she can. 

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