The Hero in Us

This month on the YA Outside the Lines blog, we were challenged to write about a female hero in our lives. And yes, I used the word ‘challenged’ rather than ‘asked’ on purpose. Because to me, this is an overwhelming task. Not because I can’t choose one, but because I can’t choose one.

You see, heroes don’t ‘hero’ alone. Yes, there are those who spark the fire and lead. There are those who develop a platform and give voice to those would otherwise be unheard. There are those who use their talents to create medical breakthroughs, engineering magic and stunning art to heal and nourish our bodies, our world and our souls.

But it takes a village. It takes others to recognize the call. To answer it. To share and amplify it. These are our extraordinary everyday heroes. Those who are inspired to rise. To lay down their normal and make the sacrifice. And here’s the thing. We don’t know what these everyday heroes are sacrificing. Sometimes it’s just a latte. Sometimes it’s time previously dedicated to something – or someone – else. Often, it’s the only time they have to spare.

If I’ve learned anything during this pandemic, it’s that heroes are everywhere. In our hospitals. In our schools. In our neighborhoods. And in our homes.

They come in all sizes, shapes and colors.

You’ll recognize them immediately…if only you take the time to look and listen. They’re the ones who are wearing masks when they’re out, but whose eyes smile at you when you pass. They’re the ones who are patient and generous with the essential workers. They’re the ones who offer support to those who suffer. Sometimes, if they can afford it, it’s through shopping small businesses or GoFundMe accounts or other donations. Other times, it’s through a simple kind word.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact all of these heroes aren’t female. Some are her. Some are him. Some are them.

All can be us.

Stay safe and healthy everyone. We need – and I’m grateful for – every hero out there.

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