I am a sucker for a great superhero story. As a kid I collected cards and would wake up early in the morning to get my daily cup of x-men with my best friends. Last night at the Citizen Schools Teacher Appreciation in Newark, real life heroes were honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award! In a brief and precise, ceremony all those old fashioned chills came to me from watching everyday simple people change the world.
A hero is “a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity” according to dictionary.com. Yeah… a bit intimidating :). But the thing about a superhero is that there is one in all of us waiting to live! For Spiderman, he got pushed over the top when he was bit by a spider; Catwoman a cat, Batman was avenging the death of his parents. You get the idea. Well, for the citizen teachers who dedicated over 80 hours to servicing the undeserved youth of Newark, it was witnessing tragedies in Newark that made it loud and clear that its youth needed something more than what the current educational systems provided. And so, one by one, each Citizen teacher (who are working professional who volunteer their free time and energy) spread their wings last night.
Heroes can be found in you, me and even a “homeless person” on the street. It takes getting to know and love yourself as you discover what you believe in and what makes your heart undoubtedly go pitter patter(divine inspiration). Then letting that love build into a courage that makes you clear to live towards it one decision at a time. It doesn’t have to be fancy or big. Even the simple deed of turning someone’s horrible into an uncontrollable laugh attack will make you a hero for the moment. Giving someone food for thought that makes them sit down are really examine their live. Or loving someone enough to see the good, beauty and marvels that they are even when they can’t see it themselves. All of this “little insignificant nothings” accumulate into patterns, which develop an amazing character and spirit that can’t help but grow bigger than your its body.
The thing about superhero is that one exists in all of us if we are patient, bold and courageous enough to live it out. What’s your catalyst?
*Special shout out to the Heroes over at Citizen Schools NJ: Jarrad Toussant,
Leopold Richardson, Bing Howell and Stephie Coplan and everyone on the Newark Campuses who make the magic happen :).