Where is the Hero inside of me?
Watched the movie ‘Defiance’ today. Later on, I cut my finger on a broken glass just minutes before work got to me and had me have another one of those overwhelming melt downs that have marked this year’s work life.
Decided to take a late evening shower to calm myself down and inmidst of worring about getting my little cut wet and bleeding again, I remembered how humbled I had felt not 3 hours ago watching that true story. Humbled by our human ability to overcome situations that seem hopeless, humbled by the acts of heroism that everyday people are capable of, humbled by what people have endured and are to this day enduring in order to stay alive.
There I was, a cut on my finger and swollen eyes, nothing compared to the trauma, cold, hunger and instability those men, women and children endured. Ashamed of my own weakness, I wondered who I would have been in that situation. Would I have risen above the crowd and lead? Would I have just followed along quietly, happy enough with trying to survive? Would I have let fear take over and reacted in some cowardly way?
For a moment I cannot help but wonder whether that’s what we secretly long for, a moment to show our own heroism, if not to the people around us, than to ourselves, giving us a reason, a justification for our existence that especially in our Western, Capitalist world seems to get lost in showing up for pseudo-important jobs, in keeping our hard earned real estate and materialistic possessions in impeccable shape, in filling our days with constant entertainment or at least what is left after having catered to whatever we feel will show the world that we are indeed Super -Mom, -Dad, -Spouse, -Friend, -Neighbour, -Employee.
But it’s not 1942, I am not a Jew in Nazi infested Europe. Nor do I live in any country where surviving is constantly on the forefront of my mind. On the contrary, I live in a place and in a situation where finding a bandaid before the blood drops hit the persian rug is about as much of an emergency as I can get.
Or is it? Are there really less situations where we can step up, show some true courage and leadership rather than hide away behind what only seemingly is so important. Or is it simply, that given the choice, we choose not to?