One of my absolute heroines of all time is Queen Esther. Unlike the fabled Cinderella, who probably had her father’s name and wealth to back her up when prince charming finally showed up, Esther was an orphan who belonged to a maligned race. But she beat the odds to become the queen of Persia after the king divorced his first wife over disrespect. According to the bible, the disgraced queen was a beauty to behold, meaning that whoever replaced her would need more than beauty and virtue to navigate palace life.
So as well as good looks and virtue, she had intelligence and courage, both of which she used to save her people from the pogrom that faced them. She went unbidden into the king’s presence – a capital offense for which she could have been executed. The Bible text says her heart was ‘frozen with fear’. Of course she lived (or we would not be reading the story). The Jewish people were saved, their enemies annihilated, and the event is celebrated to this day in the festival of Purim.
But this wouldn’t have happened had it not been for her cousin Mordecai. His tough love pushed Esther to selflessness hence saving her people. “You live in the king’s palace. But don’t think that just because you are there you will be the only Jew who will escape. What if you don’t say anything at this time? Then help for the Jews will come from another place. But you and your family will die. Who knows? It’s possible that you became queen for a time just like this.” He reminded her.
You might think you don’t have the special blend of bravery and selflessness it takes to step up like Mordecai did, but it turns out heroes aren’t just born—they’re made. Some people think that to be a hero, you have to have some special skill that goes above and beyond what ordinary people have but the truth is everyone has within them an unfolding heroic story. As Arhur Ashe aptly put it, true heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like knowing you are someone’s hero? That you gave hope to someone else, maybe even saved their life. There are so many ways you can help, so why not start soon.
Start by being your own hero. Be the change you want to see in the world. If you really want to inspire others to do something, then this ‘something’ should be a big part of your life. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert at it, but you do need to be passionately involved.
Make people feel good about themselves. People will rarely remember what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Start noticing what you like about others and tell them. Go out of your way to personally acknowledge and complement the people who have gone out of their way to excel. As von Goethe once said, “Treat a man as he appears to be, and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he already were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.”
Take a few minutes to support a young person’s dream. It could be a Facebook like, a retweet or a generous comment. Speak up against racism, discrimination, donate to the poor and feed the hungry. But above all, inform yourself; when you know better, you do better. Stay informed on issues that affect you and those less fortunate than you. Pay attention to what is happening around you and share your information with others who can make a difference.
And to our national heroes, SheSpell.com congratulates you and appreciates you. Thank you for your patriotism, service and your sacrifice. We are continually humbled by your bravery and dedication. We pray that God continues to bless you and your families for your special services.
Happy Heroes day everyone. Get involved. Stay engaged.