I believe every person I’ve met is a hero. Each one of us has experienced untellable challenges and experiences of survival so much so that I can barely believe any of us can put our underwear on in the morning.
Friend or stranger, as I see each person and while they tell me how their day is going, they peel back the curtain to show me their story by way of minute details. Tailored clothes, bent fingers, attachment to food, polite and guarded smiles, that tiny sexy scar on the eyebrow, their fingerprint-words show me all of it, past and present, leaving me in empathetic awe.
There are no capes, but for sure, there is superhuman, even divine, willpower. And lots and lots of sweaty perseverance. We all get up in the morning and show up. And given each individual history, that says a lot.
I see a parking attendant, so grateful for my smile into his eyes for his assistance, uplifted by the appreciation for him doing this job. He lights up that underground cave because he knows he is appreciated, he matters, offers his name and help anytime, all while his uneven right leg unsteadily braces him as he returns my car keys. I see someone who may be invisible to the other hundred car owners in that sunless underground box but I see him as a hero who puts food on the table thanks to this humble job which I'm sure is more complex than I can realize.
I see him as a hero in his life, waking up each day, despite the glances beyond and through him as people hand over their keys. He shows up every day he can, maimed leg and all, but in this mundane and beautiful moment, in his genuine smile, I see the meaning of his life on this earth. He is a hero, for sure.
I am a hero, too, because I know what invisible feels like, and I know that I have my own maimed and healed parts, and I wake up every day, too, grateful that I have eyes that see the heroes around me.
I see you, too, and am in awe of your hero's story.
Do I want to be a hero to my son? No. I would like to be a very real human being. That's hard enough. Robert Downey, Jr.