Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Heroes Among Us, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Choices

Inspirational excerpts from the book "Heroes Among Us, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Choices" by John Quinones...I may be just a little prejudiced on this one, as John is one of my personal heroes for so many reasons, but these feelings aside, I truly feel that this is one of the most pivotal and important books of our current day...If you get the chance, please consider placing this book on the top of your summer reading lists...I promise you, you won't be sorry...

"...We're in the midst of a bad case of hero confusion. Sometimes it seems as if we worship people who haven't done much with their lives besides makes themselves famous or rich or both...The everyday heroes who take big risks get lost in the shuffle. It happens a lot these days. But these special people deserve more.

There are plenty of ordinary folks doing extraordinary things. In fact, today heroes are more likely to have committed small acts of kindness and selflessness. In many cases, the larger heroes of the past have failed us in the present. Having "smaller" heroes, people that you and I can relate to in a true way, is not a bad thing. It's a good thing. A sign of how well our culture adapts.

We live in a time where huge institutions have lost their center. The government seems out of control. Our wars seem endless. The corporations we once relied on for stability and a safe avenue into the future now change names and services in a heartbeat. Institutional loyalty seems like a thing from a fairy tale.

While we can still look to the great heroes of our past, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Florence Nightingale, for inspiration, more and more these days our heroes aren't grand figures. Their our neighbors, our family members, and our friends. Our heroes are the magnanimous strangers who help us. They are the soldiers and police officers who struggle every day to defend us. They're the firefighters who never quit. They're the teachers who wake up every morning and step into the day with the hope that they can change their students' lives. They're the accountants, IT managers, warehouse forklift operators, checkout clerks, ditch diggers, ticket takers, plumbers, and bank tellers who put their lives on the line each day so that another person might live...."
"We all have precious opportunities every day, to act in a way that will make our society a better place. Let's open our hearts to them and act heroically. All of Us. Right Now."

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