Originally posted on The Word Wranglers Writing Group 2002

 They say there are no more heroes. Our politicians are corrupt; our religious leaders are morally bankrupt; the heroes have all vanished. I don’t believe it.

     Listen. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of millions of alarm clocks ringing. Americans are getting up and going to work, on time, all day, every day, rain or shine.

     Do you hear them? They are starting their cars, walking to the bus, riding their bicycles. They work beside you in the offices and factories. They are the fireman, the policeman, the teacher, the garbage collector, the telephone repairman.

     When they finish their day’s work, they mow the grass for the widow down the street, collect food for the food bank, volunteer for the cancer drive and the PTA. They are the Little League coaches, the Sunday School teachers, the Scout leaders.

     They are the young father going to school every night after work, hoping to make a better life for his family; the single mother struggling to stay off welfare; the paraplegic veteran coaching the high school wrestling team from a wheelchair; the volunteer tutor spending his lunch hours teaching someone to read.

     They are the quiet ones. They go about doing what needs to be done, not begrudging the cost in time and effort, nor expecting any reward except the feeling of satisfaction in a job well done.

     Heroes are not necessarily extraordinary people. They are usually ordinary people who come through in extraordinary circumstances. They are not just those who die nobly for a cause, though be it far from me to deny those their moment of glory; it takes a different kind of hero to live humbly for a cause.

     They are the Hobbits of this world, rising above circumstances, carrying on the battle, just putting one foot in front of the other day after day after day.

     Thoreau said that the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. Whether or not that is true, it takes a lot of strength and courage to keep on keeping on in the face of adversity.

     Don’t tell me the heroes have vanished. Look around you. My world is full of heroes.