I have a lot of heroes. Jon Stewart and Denis Leary come to mind immediately. Cam Neely, Eddie Vedder, Matt Groening, and Seth McFarlane make my list, too. There is also Michael J. Fox, Howard Stern, Oprah Winfrey, Extreme, Mike McCready, Tim Thomas, Adam McQuaid, Conan O’Brien, and Mike Birbiglia.
But these are people I have never met or only met briefly. Although they have helped me strive to be a better person, they have not shaped my life as close to the heroes that I know – Luckily, I have a lot of these heroes as well.
At the top of this list is my family: My parents, siblings, aunts and uncle, cousins, nephews, niece, and in-laws. They have supported me through think and thin and have shown me what unconditional love is. Many of my friends have been there for me through my toughest times as well. My “best buds” Andy, Glen, Matt, Patrick, Carl, and Scott always make me feel lucky knowing I have them in my corner. I also have cancer-related heroes: Justin Horton, Danny Manning, Greg Montalbano, and all of the Hope Lodge guests fall here.
There are also groups of people who are my heroes: Doctors, nurses, firefighters, teachers, and people in the armed forces. They all work at difficult jobs and help people every day.
Tonight, I found out one of the Hope Lodge weekend managers acted very heroic recently. As you can see in the article below (or online version here), Steve helped save someone’s life last month. When he’s not saving lives or helping Hope Lodge guests, Steve works with special ed students that have severe emotional and behavioral issues. Like all of the heroes I listed above, the world would be a better place if there were more people like Steve in it.
I’ve written about it before, but I wish the news had more stories like this one instead of those filled with violence and sex. I’m sure in reality the good stories outnumber the bad ones, but I think until people stop watching the news as it is, they won’t change what is reported.
Thank you to Steve and all of my heroes for inspiring me…