Is anyone out there as caught up in TNT's series "The Hero," hosted by the Rock, as I am?
I watch a lot of TNT, since they broadcast drama 24/7, and I enjoy all their programming with the exception of "Franklin and Bash."
The first few minutes of Hero didn't impress me. People doing scary stunts gets old pretty quick. Besides, a hero is more than brute muscle strength.
And then . . . and then . . . middle-aged mom Patty walked up open stairs on top of a 70-story building in spite of her fear of heights. With each step, she chanted, "I will not fail."
I fell in love with her before she refused Rock's bribe. Since then she has walked through tear gas and crossed a tight rope 500 feet off the ground--all to make things better for someone else.
The show tests the contestants' physical strength and mental acuity, but the true tests measure other qualities. Courage, honesty, integrity, team work, self-sacrifice. This week, cop Charlie (who was the best of the men, IMO) quit, saying he found his answer: he is a hero and doesn't need the title to claim it. Thus both clinching the title for himself at the same he eliminated himself from competition. Self-sacrifice. He and Pat have shown it, in spades.
When asked to name my childhood heroes, two names spring to my mind: Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr. I admire Eleanor Roosevelt for embodying the characteristics of the Democratic Party I joined: helping the poor, fighting discrimination, exemplifying all a woman could be. I admire her bravery in the face of trials, her husband's health, the demands of his job, his mistress.
And Martin Luther King? Physical bravery in leading a dangerous fight against discrimination. For fighting for the right with peace and love. For inspiring others to do the same.
People say my persistence in writing in spite of my physical challenges inspire them. Perhaps--I feel strange even saying this--perhaps I am a hero in some small way to people around me. A very human hero with feet of clay.
This week I received results of a blood test which suggested I probably have rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis I already knew, but not what kind. As strange as it may sound, learning that it's a blood disease and not due to my poor physical shape and weight (although I'm sure that makes it worse) lightens the burden of illness from me.
Whatever our definition of "hero" is, Pat demonstrates my definition of courage. Courage (and faith) isn't the absence of fear. It's acting in spite of fear.