|Image courtesy ~diP/Flickr.|
But for me, my personal list of heroes consists of people who will never appear in a newspaper or headline a newscast:
A Mexican social worker who goes out every day to meet street children and give them love and hands-on aid, to build trust and try to reclaim their lives.
An Irish nun who has spent 30 years in Kenya caring for HIV-positive orphans.
A Kenyan woman who, along with her husband, has housed and protected street children on a piece of land they've donated -- turning their family into a family of 150 children, all to be treated as their own ...and to do this for two decades.
An Indian activist who risks his life liberating children trafficked into forced labor ....
I could go on and on.
What they have in common is courage, commitment, persistence, impatience. They seem to have their own internal radar; they function almost as if they are channeling what needs to happen. They have a certainty about them. They work without need for praise. They are clearly getting more in return than they are giving. The Dalai Lama once called it "Good selfish." We are helping ourselves as we help others.
How to instill this kind of behavior in our children? Well, tell these stories and celebrate these people and model their behavior in your own life and work as best you can.
I think it's important for people to do what they can when they can. We can't all be heroes every day; life intervenes. But we can find a moment, and perhaps that moment is measured in years, when we can contribute the best that we have for the benefit of others and to make the world a better place.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by guest posters are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Institute for Humane Education or its staff.
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