Posted on Friday, November 2, 2012 in Uncategorized
I’m turning 50. I’ve thought about it all year.
I’ve interviewed dozens of people over fifty to talk with them about their lives. I’ve asked many questions, and sought many answers. Mostly I’ve listened. As I’ve listened I’ve heard some wonderful tales about remarkable people.
I’m not yet fifty — it’s just days away — but I thought I’d lead you through my journey, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two that will help you on your journey.
I Wanna Be A Hero
Over and over again I daydreamed of being a hero.
As I sit here forty years later I can see my fantasy as clear as day.
I fantasized about heroically saving a classmate.
Seated in Washington Elementary School I would daydream. My daydream involved one of my classmates — I won’t mention her name in case she’s a mysilentscream reader — being in danger.
It’s funny to think back now, because she wasn’t my girlfriend.
I know it might be hard to imagine, but I had a couple of girlfriends in elementary school. I was for a couple of years the only guy who did. That was before “the winds blew cold”, and I had years of girlfriend-free loneliness.
Back to my story, she wasn’t my girlfriend or a crush. In fact, she was bigger and probably stronger than me, but I kept visualizing her crossing the street while talking to a friend.
As kids will do two girls walked and talked their way home after school. On this particular sunny afternoon they were enjoying talking and oblivious to the world. One girl, I’ll call her Sally, continued her journey on the sidewalk while the other, I’ll call her Bianca, began to cross the street.
Bianca was still talking to Sally as she stepped into the street. She was also unaware of the danger.
Just as importantly the driver of the car never guessed Bianca would try to cross the street then.
I was following behind the girls walking alone, on my way home.
I saw everything unfold before me.
With lightning-like quickness I raced to Bianca’s rescue.
Somehow, someway, as if I appeared out of nowhere, I pushed Bianca out of the way of the speeding car.
In a rescue you’ve seen a thousand times on television or movies, I pushed the person out of imminent danger, but I was injured in the process.
My diving save of Bianca left my hood-high legs exposed to the moving car.
Bianca was stunned, but safe.
Sally was horrified, but relieved.
I was injured, but heroic.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times I fantasized that story.
Today, nothing has changed.
I still wanna be a hero.
No cape. No cowl.
(The picture? That’s Marvel’s Nighthawk from the 70’s, my favorite then.)
I just wanna be a regular hero, like you, who does what should be done.
– Compassion for those in need
– Comfort for the brokenhearted
– A loving role model for all
I had no idea how much work it would take.