By Patricia Mckinney
A hero is defined as a man or woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
Hero's are also leaders, or those in position that set an example for someone else, leaving a trail of courage to follow and a legendary story behind for centuries to come. A hero's job is not to dwell among the followers forever, but to set an example of strength for the follower to hold dear to their hearts, and pull that strength out when its needed. In turn, they too will be a "hero" to someone else or make an impact in the lives of others.
There were many hero's in the past that left a trail to remember them by. But one does not have to be listed among the famous that are deceased. A hero can be a mother or father, a community activist, or advocate but possess the courage, bravery, or noble qualities of someone that now has a memorial in their name. (example Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., etc.).
The job of a hero is to blaze a trail of heroic acts and unseen courage, and while blazing this trail, they make an impact by changing the hearts and minds of others, pushing them to their limit for the greater good. A hero comes to instill bravery, so that those who look up to him/her may one day walk in the courage that they've seen, and maximize their fullest God given potential.
For example Harriet Tubman lead people out of slavery to freedom through the underground railroad. The key here is that she led them to freedom, and she made a huge impact in their lives. But those who followed had to find their way from there, they had to discover a whole new life outside of the confines of bondage. Sallie Ride, was the first American female astronaut, and we see because of her act a courage other women have gone to the moon. Abraham Lincoln produced the Emancipation Proclamation, to abolish slavery and was assassinated for it, but he impacted the lives of others, and he's remember until this day. Martin Luther King Jr. was a hero during the civil rights movement. His job was not to dwell among the people forever, but to give them the drive, fortitude, and strength to become independent. While he was with them, he stood on his beliefs, leaving an example behind. However, the follower thought that their job lied within the lap of the hero, that they didn't have to do any work, and as a result, they never stepped into their potential..
As a leader, I know what its like to be a catalyst for change, and I get pleasure in seeing people step into the fullness of who they are. Its a good feeling to know that you've set a positive example for someone else to follow, so they too can be a life changer. But I found that many times, people that look up to other's (hero's) get things misconstrued. They feel that the hero is supposed to carry or lead them forever. Instead of continuing the journey of discovery, and using the example of courage and strength set before them, they feel that don't have to do any work, therefore they never experience any achievements, that don't fulfill goals, or inspire anyone else. I believe that God sets physical examples before us because he knows that we have weakness, and at times we need someone that's gone before us to give us courage, so we can discover who we are, and who He is. ( God is) and the capability that he's placed within us. I believe that He's put heroic ability within all of us, even if its mere courage. You never know who's watching you, that courage you have can impact the life of someone else and they may see you as a hero too.