Zero to Hero

20 Dec

People talk about having heroes all the time. They aspire to achieve great things, like their favorite political figures, entertainers or writers or artists, religious figures, scientists, or community members. Heroes come in many forms, and we admire them for their great and varied efforts. They’re mostly just ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things. Whether this is through divine inspiration or superhuman ability/intelligence or just plain luck, they’re just like you and me. It’s amazing to really think that the everyday and mundane can suddenly transform into something far more miraculous. But where does this come from, exactly? How is it that some of us are able to become something more?

I wouldn’t say I’ve ever been the type to have heroes. Growing up, whenever we had to write about having a hero, I don’t really remember anyone I wrote about. I just mostly remember having a difficult time thinking about it. I’ve read about plenty of people who could be considered heroes, those who have conquered evil or stood up against injustice or tried to make the world a better place. These accomplishments are admirable, certainly. But I have a hard time pinpointing exactly which ones I call my heroes. I’m ispired by things all the time, and have seen plenty of things to admire. But as far as personal heroes, I’ve never been able to come up with many.

My life has mostly been filled with things that inspire me. Things that convince me, time after time, that there is goodness in the world, and that ordinary people can do extraordinary things every day. Things that make it impossible to question that there’s something bigger out there in the universe, beyond human comprehension. I call this God, others call it by other names. Whatever you choose to call it, I believe it’s really out there, and it holds the universe together in a divine perfection that is truly remarkable. Something that we’ll never fully understand, no matter how hard we try. I’m okay with that, because it gives me something to wonder about, something I will never tire of contemplating. The more you try and understand it, the less you really know.

The inspirational things in my life include art, of course. It never ceases to amaze me how many different kinds of expression artists have developed over thousands of years, since the first cave dweller picked up the first stick covered with red clay. I also find inspiration in music, books, quotes, movies, amazing buildings, and the natural beauty of the earth. Pretty much your standard fare, I would say.

I guess mostly the things that inspire me are things. Or ideas, rather. Maybe these things, in fact, are my heroes. I’ve never really considerd that they exist in my life. Admired things, yes. But considered these things and people to be heroes? Not quite. I’m inspired by both miraculous and everyday things in my life and the world around me. There are qualities in these things that I want in my life, and there are some people who possess qualities which I aspire to have, as well. But I want to be the best version of myself, not some cheap knockoff or bad fascimile of someone else. I’m just an ordinary person, looking to do extraordinary things. Maybe that day won’t ever come, but I’ll be okay with that, too. I’ll still have my inspiration to keep me company, and keep me in awe.

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