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For decades we have been watching the Marvel heroes and villains battle across our screens; we all know that is fantasy.  A person who has extraordinary powers battles a known enemy.   When you look at the definition of hero in the dictionary the  very first description is “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.”

In real life true heroes are almost unrecognizable.  You know them, they are in your neighborhood, they are on the bus in the seat next to you, they are your co-workers.  They can drive you crazy, they can make you angry, they make you laugh when sharing stories of their lives.  Look around do you see them?



hereoTheir heroism is situational.  It only comes into focus when something extraordinary is needed to change the trajectory of evil or save lives For instance, did you know that back in the spring of 1986 a group of roughneck Russian miners were asked to dig a tunnel underneath a nuclear reactor that was melting down?  There was a 50/50 chance that the reactor would melt through its concrete floor and get into the ground water system that led to the Black Sea.  We are told 400 local miners were asked to risk deadly levels of radiation to potentially save millions of European lives by digging a tunnel to divert this potential threat.  They all went out; at least a quarter of them died from radiation poisoning.

groceryWhat makes a hero out of an ordinary person?  Honor can be defined as, “a keen sense of ethical conduct.” Behaving ethically, is that point in one’s life where you know what the right thing to do is and you do it.  But there was more than ethics to the honor involved in the miner’s decision, there was more than the personal risk, there was an understanding of community, the “All of Us.”

Heroism is when you know what the right thing to do is and you do it despite the risks to yourself for the greater good of others. 

Today’s heroes are our neighbors, those who are risking their lives to remain in their critical jobs and those who have sacrificed their businesses and jobs in the closures we see all around us.hero collage

In the next two months our businesses will face the fact that employment and property taxes are due, and their ability to pay these, in most cases, is gone. 

As we shelter in place, let us not forget today’s unlikely heroes.

`Lorraine Newman