When disaster strikes, we all have a decision to either become a hero and help or a villain and cheat. Which are you?
Luke Skywalker had his Darth Vader. Robin Hood had his Sheriff of Nottingham. We have our own personal nemesis in our real life experiences. Sometimes it is a battle between our hearts and heads within ourselves. Sometimes it is an office or school conflict polarizing the Us and Them. If we resist the circumstances that inevitably float into our otherwise happy lives, we lose opportunities. Those circumstances show us what we are, and what we are not.
Given the opportunity, are we good guys or bad guys at heart?
During the recent El Nino disaster that Peru experienced, which was reportedly the worst natural situation in decades, people were stranded for weeks without water, food or shelter. Homes, in fact, whole villages, were washed away, avalanches cut off the road to the northern region.
I was stranded in Lima myself, unable to get back to Huaraz. Buses were not able to get through. Water was rationed and for some, scarce. If you were in Lima at the time then I am sure you remember this situation from earlier in the year.
Rebuilding will be a slow recovery process.
What that disaster did was bring out the hero in people. We saw truckloads of supplies being brought into what remained of many of those villages with food, bottled water, and supplies. Volunteers came from everywhere to step in to clear the roads, at risk to themselves and their teams.
I was also taken in by friends until buses were able to get me back. They didn’t charge me anything, they knew I was stranded otherwise.
These are heroes.
Humanitarian minded individuals who see people in vulnerable situations, people who are in dire straits and do not hesitate to help however they can. We think like this because we know, one day it could be us.
Then there are the villains.
“Just like the silence between the notes in music, you actually need the silence, else the notes all blur together indistinguishably.”
Airplane services jacked up their rates to fly desperate people to the northern region. People were selling bottles of water at a premium because there was no water otherwise. Some restaurants even took advantage by charging more because according to them, supplies were limited. There wouldn’t always be an El Nino disaster and when things got back to normal again, nobody would forget the villains.
The point is that when we have opportunities to reach out to our fellow humans, the members of this unique tribe, we should.
These opportunities bring out the best and worst in people. We immediately show who we are when the challenges are upon us. There is something inside of firefighters who run into a burning building when others are running out.
It sure isn’t for the paycheck. Lifeguards dive into deep waters against crashing waves to rescue a drowning swimmer who they don’t even know. And the humanitarian type folks who put their own lives and personal comforts on hold to go into the remote regions of Peru and elsewhere in the world, to make the lives of the less fortunate and destitute a little better than before.
Heroes are a result of disasters.
They are the human response to crisis and disturbances that most would do their best to avoid. They possess a special kind of heart and awareness of their own purpose in life and live with a certain passion that others don’t understand yet.
Villains can be people, situations or circumstances.
They can immobilize the timid with fear. They can shake us to our core…or, those same conditions can turn us into heroes. They can allow us to develop some strange new energy that we never knew we had before. We can be our own heroes, did you know that? We can muster up the courage to say “Not Today!” when the going gets rough. We can jettison the fear and start searching for the solution to those circumstances. The silence between the notes is just enough pause for us to hear the music clearly. As heroes, we sing along with the music and make it our own theme.
I will invite you now to consider these words and ask yourself, are you ready to release the hero in your life? Let go of whatever made you afraid yesterday and grab onto the solution that begs your attention today.
You have it within you, we all do.
~~~ Until next time, live large my friends, live deliberately.
For you photographers among us… don’t miss the Second Annual Changes for New Hope International Photo Contest. See the full details here… http://cnhphotocontest.webs.
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