What makes a hero?
Heroes have punctuated history, following the courage of their convictions in the face of dire personal consequences. Nightingale, Pankhurst, Mandella, Ghandi, Mother Theresa and Babs.
“Hang on, who’s Babs?” Oh, Babs was my mum. She brought up my two brothers and I; keeping us fed and bathed with clean shirts and a clean house whilst working full time to make sure we had enough to get by on. My father worked full time too but far too often his wages were disrupted through strikes and lay-offs. She never complained. And her loss was a real tragedy to both her family and friends.
But this is not about my mum. It’s about all the other people you have never heard of. I have Multiple Sclerosis and modern technology has made it possible for me to write to and converse with other fellow sufferers. I often refer to ourselves as “MS Warriors”. But it’s not even about us or the people who look after us day in and day out. Yes, they are true heroes too but there are so many others out there.
Occasionally on the news there are stories about individuals who have undergone personal misfortune or hardship. These could be people with life-threatening illnesses or their carers; it could be about people seeking justice or victims of crime or neglect. I particularly take an interest in anything involving children and those born with disadvantaged conditions.
Now there are some heroes. Not only the children themselves but their parents and other relatives. They make herculean efforts to provide a positive and meaningful life.
And what do we do apart from feel some empathy or humility in the light of such heroism?
This brings us back to technology. I write something. It can be on any platform-facebook, Twitter etc. I try to find what is nearest to them. Even a comment on the local news Facebook page will help. I tell them how humble I feel or how much I admire their courage and dignity. You don’t need to do it to every individual that you notice. Pick the one you think most deserving and offer your support in three or four sentences.
This is what I do because from being on an MS forum, I know how much a few words of support are appreciated.
And so ends today’s “sermon”. Written in big letters for those with eyesight like mine.
Best wishes, Steve.