Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who is Your Hero?

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of hero is this: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities or one that shows great courage. So it makes me think, who are our heroes and what qualifies them as a hero?

Some people consider a hero to be their favorite musician or maybe a sports celebrity. I don't know about you but whenever I hear about how Brittney Spears hit a car and drove off or how OJ Simpson got arrested for assault with a deadly weapon it makes me wonder, are these who people are looking up to?

I don't think you have to look very far to find a hero. Walk through your neighborhood and talk to your neighbors. Are there any teachers on your street? What about a policeman or fireman? What about soldiers who are serving in the war?

I learned the other day that teachers on average spend between $500-1000 each year buying supplies for their kids. The average teacher salary in Minnesota is $49,906. That doesn't seem like a lot of money for someone who is responsible for the education of our future, yet people still teach with a passion despite their small wages. Are teachers heroes? I think so.

What about a policeman or fireman? In 2000, the starting salary for a Minnesota State Trooper was $39,396. Someone who is driving hundreds of miles everyday, standing on the side of the road with cars flying by at 70 MPH, helping someone change their flat tire, walking up to a car not knowing if the person driving is a known felon and has a gun, searching a house for a guy who is high on meth. Are these people heroes? I think so.

I learned after the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis that one of the men that died was from the town I live in. I consider this man a hero, not because he died on the bridge but how he died. You see, he survived the collapse of the bridge, yet he saw some other people who were struggling and examiners believe he died trying to save someone else.

I recently read a newspaper article that talked about a soldier who threw himself onto a grenade that landed in their truck in order to soften the blow to his fellow soldiers. With a split second decision, he sacrificed his life for the life of others. Whether you agree with the war or not, this man is a hero.

Even if you don't know a teacher or a soldier. Everyone should have a hero in their life, someone to look up to. I'm fortunate to have two heroes, my mom and dad. Two people who taught me everything I need to know about life and still loved me when I screwed up. Two people who sacrificed time and money in order for me to succeed. Are these people heroes? I think so.

Who is your hero?

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