I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up without a whole lot of role models or I just wasn’t looking in the right places, but I love the idea of heroes! In my search for heroes, I feel like I struggled to find some solid well rounded people I can look up to and say, “I want to be like that.”
For most of my adult life I feel like I believed what culture told me the hero was. People who earned lots of money, lots of power and lots of glory! I looked in awe at people who achieved these things and wanted to be like them! I did all that I could to be like these people and all that I could to get close to these people, because we know the good old saying… Success begets success. As I journeyed along in life, I started meeting some of these people and quickly realised that, yeah, they may have cool things like money, fame and fortune, but a lot of them didn’t seem very happy and pretty much all of them didn’t have peace of mind. I also noticed that a lot of these people weren’t so special. A lot of them got where they were through hard, hard work. Yes, hard work is very necessary but I realised that it’s pretty easy to commit yourself to gaining money and fame when you sacrifice things like family, friendships, time and peace.
I started looking around and began meeting people who had a different focus. Maybe they didn’t have glory with the gold and trimmings that come along with it. But they had so much more soul, contentment, and a focus that wasn’t about stuff that seemed so superficial. So I went on a little quest to find more of these people. That quest took me to India where I have been blown away. I’ve seen real crazy heroes. ‘Heroes’ that you won’t find on the news for making another million dollars or ‘heroes’ that get thousands of likes on social media platforms. But here I have seen heroes who live by the creed, ‘Service Before Self’. Husbands and wives who have sacrificed a ‘comfortable life’ to pull people out of slavery and the hardships of poverty. Young adults that have given up families and homes to come alongside the poor, sit with them and hear their stories. Women and men who have given up relationships and careers to feed the poor and heal the sick.
The harder I look and the farther I search, the more I realise that real life heroes are in places you would be least likely to look. The incredibly brave ladies who have given up a life of suffering and abuse to fight courageously for their freedom are a great example of that.
With those that have moved here from afar, I’m in awe of the sacrifice that they make and how my life has become so much richer from getting to know them. Through watching how they live their lives and observing them lose part of what our culture says we need, I see them gain so much more. More friendships, more family, more meaning. More life!