Heroes at Home

Recently, I’ve been writing about heroism.  We often identify with them because we see in them the character qualities that we would like to see in ourselves.  Little boys who dream of being a fire fighter and little girls who dream of being a ‘mama’ are just reflecting their desire to be like those who seem heroic to them.  However, as we get older, unless forced, we don’t do much that seems heroic to us.  That can cause people (especially men) to compensate by identifying with those who seem ‘more’ heroic (i.e. professional athletes and teams).

As a Tennesseean, I've watched and respected Peyton Manning since 1994.

As a Tennesseean, I’ve watched and respected Peyton Manning since 1994.

Our everyday lives may seem ‘unheroic’ but there are some questions you can ask yourself in pursuit of ‘personal heroism’:

1) What are you fighting for?  Whoa!  When’s the last time you asked yourself that?  If your immediate, internal answer includes the word ‘my’ then take a closer look.  Heroes are fighting for a cause; a big picture, life changing, thing.  If you’re fighting for something as small as your comfort or your rights, you probably don’t feel very heroic.  I know that when I am just focused on my needs I get miserable pretty quick.  I often have to remind myself that I am trying to fight for my wife and our marriage, my childrens’ future as productive and caring adults, and the future of my company which provides jobs to thousands of people.  You?

2) Who are your enemies?  If you’re a soldier or athlete, that can be a simple question…the other guys.  For the rest of us, who are we fighting?  When my ‘rights’ to sleep in, sit on the couch and watch football, or do what I want to do are trampled on, it’s easy for me to think that my enemies live right under my roof!  That can cause some colossal and frustrating fights.  When I realize that my main enemy is most likely me and my sense of self-entitlement, I have an internal battle to focus on.

3) How do you fight?  Heroes control their emotions and my biggest fight can be to react to what I perceive as battles with love.  That frustrating co-worker?  They’re going through a tough time at home.  If I jump all over them in an argument, I haven’t gained a friend, I’ve created an enemy.  The same goes with my family.  My son who’s feeling inadequate to do a school project needs love, not a drill sergeant…even if my tendency is drill sergeant.

When you feel like a traitor to yourself or others, assess the situation and answer these questions.  In fact, just one question might set you on the path to some pretty heroic actions.  Which question would that be for you?

Image courtesy nfl.si.com

Posted on January 30, 2014, in Heroes. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great thoughts here. I don’t usually think of myself as needing to be a “hero” or having “enemies.” But it’s the truth. I appreciate your encouragement to consider thinking about what I need to fight for.

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