Tilting at Windmills or The Search for True Heroes

“So many misconceptions surround the notion of heroism. Far too many categorize a hero as a champion on the battlefield, a commander of legions, a master of rare talent or ability. Granted, there have been heroes who fit those descriptions. But many men of great evil as well. Heed me. A hero sacrifices for the greater good. A hero is true to his or her conscience. In short, heroism means doing the right thing regardless of the consequences. Although any person could fit that description, very few do.” (Brandon Mull, Beyonders: A World Without Heroes, 110)

Those words resonated with me as I was re-reading Beyonders yesterday in preparation for reading the second book in the series.  I love this description of heroism, because it suggests that regular people can accomplish great things, if they do it for the right reasons.

It sometimes feels like, we live in a world lacking in heroes. I know, there are plenty of heroes that fit the misconceived description. There are even a few heroes that “do the right thing regardless of the consequences” but they are hard to find amidst all the cacophony of causes and complaints that barrage us daily.

I find myself wanting to hide under the covers because I feel like I am constantly tilting at windmills.

But perhaps a true hero keeps tilting at the windmills, even when faced with the impossibility of success.

Perhaps I have been looking for heroes in the wrong places . . . I’ve been looking for the ones that shout the loudest and make themselves known. But, when I think about it, the most heroic people I know are the quiet heroes. The ones who fight battles without need for recognition. The ones who seek to make change by setting good examples and speaking quiet truths. I’ve met teacher heroes and blogging heroes, I’ve met single mother heroes and artist heroes. I’ve met married heroes and single heroes. Heroic people are everywhere, but they don’t always get noticed in the middle of the chaos and the noise.

I believe it is time for me to, once again, celebrate the quiet heroes I’ve met in this world, because through them I honestly believe that the world can be a better place.  I’ve written about some of them in previous posts:

But I feel the need to find more of these quiet heroes in our world.

Who are the heroes in your life? Who do you admire for the way they approach the world?

 Does anyone want to tilt at windmills with me?

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nathan010
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 12:33:24

    not a real person, but Joe for Joe Vs the Volcano.


  2. Andra Watkins
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 13:04:08

    My husband is my biggest hero. I don’t know what I would do without him, quiet, steady man that he is.


  3. thebestdigger
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 14:04:20

    We don’t know who our heroes are in this world unless we live with one. Bad news sells. Heroes are unsung. In a world of no-draft army, everyone who sleeps in the sand, re-ups for more and more tours of duty, every young man and woman who demonstrates his or her belief in duty and goes, each who understands and can spell valor, are heroes regardless of our reasons for the “not wars”.

    Everyone who stands in the gap for another is a hero. They get no press. No wonder our national self image is so poor. you don’t hear much about heroes, but you hear ad nauseum about villains. Losers. Criminals. Down and outers. Nationally we are playing that game called “ain’t it awful”.

    I live in a community where if your fire alarm needs new batteries, or if your ceiling lightbulbs need changing, you CALL the FIRE DEPT! Absolutely true. Why? Because, it turns out, twenty per cent of our township is over sixty five, and they don’t want us falling and breaking a body part. Heroes. Need food? Call the police dispatcher. Need a ride? Call the free shuttle. This is funded by a state grant triggered because in this upscale township a woman had a heart attack, but was living in squalor, broke and unable to care for herself and no one knew it. The local police Dept said not acceptable. Fix it. The state agreed. Heroes.

    Heroes are everywhere. Demand to know who they are. Want to be a political activist instead of merely chin wagging? Start here. Anyone can be a hero. Need is everywhere.


  4. Life in the Boomer Lane
    Mar 26, 2012 @ 17:40:48

    There are heroes among us, people who inspire us to be more than we believe ourselves to be, people who hold us in our highest possibility even when our actions are to the contrary, people who don’t turn away from need but who turn toward it, people who leave this world better than how they found it. Thank goodness for the heroes.


  5. Mony - Walking for Peace
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 13:07:30

    To me, heroes are those who follow the calling of their heart, and not that of their fear. They demonstrated themselves to us over and again during our long pilgrimage to Jerusalem, appearing like angels to lend a helping hand, offer a word of enouragement or simply a hug. They saw their action as meaning nothing. But their small seemingly “nothing” acts of kindness are changing the world, just as surely as they changed ours. Thanks for this post, Lisa! 🙂


  6. benzeknees
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 18:36:54

    I’d love to give a shout out to the people who care for us every day & rarely get thanked – police officers, fire personnel, emergency room doctors & nurses, ambulance attendants. When everyone else is running away, they are running toward us.


  7. Trackback: To all those I have loved before……my heroes « Greatpoetrymhf’s Weblog
  8. greatpoetrymhf
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 21:52:53

    Reblogged this on Greatpoetrymhf’s Weblog and commented:
    Heroes on her mind……..


  9. Trackback: The Heroes in Our Lives and Stories | Writing Your Destiny

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