Marvel has entertained us these last few years with a series of movies like The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, and Spider-Man. All these movies have heroes of extraordinary ability that allow them to thwart evil and save humankind. Although many of these stories have been around in comic book form since the early 1940’s, the movies give an extra outlet for kids of all ages to experience heroes in action. We even have conventions to honor our super crime fighters, where we dress up as our favorites. It’s all very entertaining, but I think we are forgetting some very important heroes.
When you hear the word hero, what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Do you think of someone who traveled here from another world and has super powers? The likelihood of that ever happening is slim to none. Perhaps you think of the soldiers in World War II, that stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. During the largest amphibious invasion ever to take place, Allied forces rushed into heavy gunfire from the Germans, but were able to land a crushing blow and turn the war in their favor. What about closer to home, do you think about your local firefighters that rush into that burning building or the police who have to stop an armed robbery?
These are great examples of heroes, and with the exception of the space aliens, we should thank them for their service. They put their lives on the line for others, and some without being paid. They are heroes because they have courage. Their courage is not the absence of fear, but the action they take in the face of fear. That same courage lies within each of us.
For anyone that has had to get up in front of a large group to speak, you may have felt as if your stomach was tied in knots, but you managed to say what you needed, even if you did have to imagine everyone in their underwear. That takes courage. No, you are not staring down the barrel of a gun, but it is courage nonetheless.
Courage comes in many forms, like the courage of women fighting breast cancer, or children battling Leukemia. The small business owner risks a lot when they start up a new company, but their courage can help them succeed. There is even courage in the teen that, despite mockery by their peers, befriends the outsider, or even a bully. No, they aren’t battling for the survival of the human race, but they are still heroes. They fought their own evil nemesis of fear and doubt, by using the courage within them.
Maybe if we all tapped into the courage within each of us, we wouldn’t need to depend on superheroes. We would be the heroes, and we don’t even need a cape.