I wrote a column called “Heroes Among Us” for the Orange County Register, Sun Post News for years. The stories focused on people who did heroic things, so that we may all learn from them. Every year I wrap up with the best hero lessons. From well over 100 hero lessons each year, the following are the top five. Several lessons apply to many of the heroes. Since I believe we all have the capability to live a great life, a life that is heroic, these are things that you, too, can do. You can create a better world around you. Your good actions will affect us all.

My definition of a hero is “someone who helps someone in time of need. “We all need that help, but we also are here to give that help. May these traits help you in the year to come.

Here they are:

1. Create a New Reality
We need new ways of thinking and doing things. Herb Modelevsky, M.D. donates his time by appearing in hospitals as a real clown. Herbie the Clown” cheers up the children who are sick. Herbie helps them, not escape their lives, but create a new way to think about their circumstances. By creating a different reality, the children can see themselves in the world that Herbie opens up. Fun, laughter and the possibility of a clown in a hospital, make the children smile. Herbie shows them there is magic everywhere. Create a new reality that includes a better life for all of us. Use fantasy and magic and play.

2. Take Unexpected Opportunities as the Gifts They Are
Hero Alice Netzen, age 91, still performs. She sings her beautiful heart out to the people of Southern California. Alice started performing in vaudeville. She had her own radio show back then. That got her career going. Alice’s boyfriend auditioned for a radio program. He didn’t get the radio show but he coaxed Alice into auditioning. She took the chance and beat out 648 other competitors to have her own radio program during the dinner hour. That was an opportunity that changed her life.

3. Time is the Most Important Thing in the World
For Cyndi Martin and other heroes, time is far more valuable than money. Most of Cyndi’s time is spent doing whatever she can to help her son Taylor to live as normal a life as possible. Taylor has NF-2, a rare genetic disease that creates a series of tiny tumors that attach to the brain, the central nervous system, and the spinal cord. Cyndi states “Don’t focus on the things. Focus on the time you have with people.” In families, in business, no matter what you do, it is the “time” we spend with people, with ourselves, or with God, that is the most important thing.

4. Hold on For the Long Term
Almost every hero realized that change may take awhile, especially social change. These heroes keep going even if the results aren’t instant. Cultural changes take time “especially when you are talking about children,” says Dr. Francis Mead-Messinger. “You don’t really know until children get into their twenties what kind of an impact something may have.” This probably goes back to her roots. Her great-grandmother was full-blooded Choctaw. They think generations ahead in their decisions. Our purpose is given wings through our actions. Any action toward your worthwhile goal is also worth holding on to, until it manifests.

5. You Can Always Give
Many heroes build their lives around giving. It gives them great joy inside to give. They give to help others. That is what I consider to be a true hero. No matter what life throws at you, you can always find a way…to give.

Put these traits into your own life and watch as you take a step toward bringing out that hero in you!

Live like a hero!

© 2008 Terri Marie

Author's Bio: 

Terri Marie is an award-awarding producer and author of “Be the Hero of Your Own Game” and “One Minute Inspirations.” You can receive her “Year of Cheer” and Spiritual Good News at www.spiritualarena.com
The Hero Movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llXYUxPkm2U