A Different Shade Of Heroism

Heroism in day to day life is often associated with an individual’s act of bravery as a reaction to happening of an event that should not have occurred in normal circumstances. It could be saving someone from drowning in a well or a river, or protecting someone on being attacked by goons, or rescuing someone caught in fire. There are numerous such incidents where we witness how ordinary people from among us do the extraordinary things.
Today I wish to talk about another kind of heroism that although happens around us, but often goes unnoticed. Let me share with you a story of a man I came across a few months ago. While sitting at the guest house and having tea with my family, I was introduced with a man. He is a craftsman and his skill lies in sculpting wood into beautiful artefacts. He gifted us with one of his creations, which was indeed quite impressive. I didn’t get a chance to interact with him much on that day. After a few days, once again I came across him and this time he had with him a catalogue of his creations. The collection not only included pictures of wooden sculptures but also some really sophisticated cane furniture. I was amazed by the finesse in his work.
This man lost both his legs to polio when he was a little boy. Now in his 30’s, he literally had to drag himself with the support of both his hands, in order to move. He has now very conveniently replaced his legs with his hands and has accustomed himself to this lifestyle, for many years. It was hard for me to imagine someone making sofa sets and tables in that condition. Later, after about a month I found out something about him that added altogether a new perspective to how I perceived him. I found that he had married a girl who was a rape victim. This girl belonged to a local tribal community, like many other rape victims in our country; she too faced a tough time from the society and was shunned by almost everyone.
How many of us even think about something like that?, let alone acting upon it. I can’t think of anyone. I don’t know the reason behind his decision, so I am no one to judge. But irrespective of the reasons, his act of giving a lifetime support and respect to a woman who was publically humiliated for a crime she never committed, in itself is quite a heroic act for me. May be because of his physical condition he thought he might not have a chance to lead a normal life and so he decided to do what he did. But does that make him any less extraordinary?
We all talk about helping the victims of crimes in regaining their lost self esteem and hope for a normal life but how many of us truly act upon our words and actually do something worthwhile? Making a conscious decision like that, which affects one’s entire life in more than one way, is not an easy thing to do. For me it is a brave act, an act of heroism in more than one ways. There may be so many others like him around us, of who we simply aren’t aware of. I feel they should also be given their share of recognition, not just because they should be known but because they could inspire someone in ways we do not know.
Witnessing this different shade of heroism, makes me believe in the will and power that we hold inside us. We could make a huge difference not only to our lives but the lives of millions others out there, who need our support and care. We must remember that we don’t have anything to prove to anyone here. Overcoming and leaving past the hurdles in our lives is very much an act of bravery. You don’t have to be a hero to the world but yourself first. We don’t always need to read about the big and the famous to get inspired, we don’t always need to wait for an event to occur, all we need to do is to seize the moment we have. 
Heroism is about overcoming the obstacle and making a difference. I believe everyone faces difficult times and situations in life and everyone has his or her way of dealing with it. We all have a little hero present inside us; all we need to do is, find a way to bring it out. So the next time you need to get inspired, look into the mirror and feel proud of yourself.
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