Assignment: HEROES

This is an assignment from the desk of Mrs. Kirk for her class:

This is a formal essay assignment, not a blog assignment. It will be submitted on paper, typed, labeled with your name, date, and an essay title, edited to the highest standard possible, and consisting of 2-3 pages. Save your document for future revision.

  • TYPE OF ESSAY: Personal
  • TOPIC: anything related to heroes or heroism
  • DUE: Tuesday 16th (any time that day)

Please be creatively open-minded about your topic. What you write needs to be personal and specific to YOU. It should be drawn on your own memories, imagination, or opinions. Don’t bore me. Examples: a memory or description of a hero in your own life, an imaginative description of the hero you would be or wish for, an introspective exploration of some aspect of heroism (self-sacrifice, being bold, etc. – check out your hero blogs for ideas). ANYTHING goes, as long as it’s PERSONAL in some way.

Img_0202 I have had her assignment mulling around in my head for a few days, left her entry in my blog reader "kept unread" so that it would continue to show up. It strikes me that this morning, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist acts, might be a good time to write down my thoughts on heroes, on heroism, on living life the best we can as it happens.

For me and the rest of the country, the people who gave their lives while helping others get to safety are heroes. They gave of themselves, risked their lives, gave their lives for folks they didn’t know for the most part. For some it was "duty" and "that’s my job", but in reality it was more than that. There’s something about giving life that is bigger than the individual. There is love, there is bravery, there is courage, there is focus. All those things work together to shape us into more than "just me". Jesus said that there’s no greater love than giving your life for another, and we can see that at play in the footage and remembrances of that fateful day.

But there’s something else about living for others, about giving not only your LIFE, but LIVING for another. Giving of your time, of your resources, of your mental acuity. It’s going to pick up someone to drive them to church again, even though there’s no payback for you. It’s helping someone with a project, answering questions and taking time to help them through to their own resolutions while pushing your own agenda back a bit. It’s seeking out a wandering heart, showing love and compassion, sharing a cup of coffee and a piece of cake with someone who just needs an open heart and listening ear. Those are equally heroic things.

So here’s my thesis, Mrs. Kirk, for what it’s worth. "What is heroism to me?" It is a giving of yourself, and all that word entails, that results in the lives of others being better, being fuller, being redeemed. It’s traveling together and travailing together, pushing self to the back to pull others to the fore. There’s a realization that we’re in this together, and that life is better lived together as we promote each other.

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3 thoughts on “Assignment: HEROES

  1. Caryn says:

    THANKS, Rick! That’s awesome. I will link it to my students, and I know they will appreciate the excellent example. It’s very concrete, which is something I try to teach. šŸ™‚

  2. Charlotte says:

    I intentionally didn’t read your essay before writing my own. I didn’t want to risk being influenced by what you wrote. So I finally posted mine, and read yours this morning. I was really struck by how similar many of our points were, just spoken very differently. Hmmmm.

  3. Rick says:

    Charlotte’s was longer – I probably had points taken off for brevity. Dang.

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