We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up … discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
~ ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, You Learn by Living

by Sandi Martinez

Memorial Day brought with us an opportunity to reflect on war heroes, personal heroes, and animal-rescue heroes.  What we looked back on are the wonderful, heartfelt moments that shaped our experiences with these individuals in our lives, and the world as a whole, including our animal counterparts.  Can you look back and remember when an animal saved your life?  What about another human being?

When I think about  my personal meaning of war, I see not the war of nations or countries battling each other and claiming territory, or whatever it is nations do in war; I see my own personal battle – the battle between doing the right thing, and preventing the wrong thing from happening – sometimes at all costs.  But when does not fighting become an option?  Buddha might have an answer, but I’m just a regular, ordinary human being asking this question.  Have you been the hero in someone else’s life?  Has someone been your hero?

Many of us can perhaps mock the concept of ‘Hero’, but for some of us, surely one or a few exist.  There might even be the overactive imagination of our hero having amazing powers, or should I say downright, unbelievable powers.  What about the dog that leads a blind dog out of danger or a human being who risks his/her life to save another animal?  I don’t think this individual has superpower cool moves that make them superhero material, but rather a determination that supersedes that of any normal cognitive reasoning in a human being, who is normally experiencing their day.

This leads me to the word ‘determination’.  An on-line word dictionary, (or the real thing, an actual book with crisp, white pages) has some great definitions on this word.  I won’t list them because we here at RMSAAM, would love to hear what you think that definition is, and how you apply it in your everyday life-experience; the very word in fact that may be the foundation of the meaning, ‘Hero’.