Hello and good day!
Did you ever go back and revisit the stories of King Arthur and his noble knights?
When I was a kid, I loved the Disney movie The Sword In The Stone. There is a certain mystique about that time period, England in the Middle Ages. You've got the jousting matches. You've got noblemen saving damsels in distress.
In theory, you've got a pact amongst the knights of the roundtable that they will act with honor and dignity in their every undertaking. Valor was supposedly the most important virtue. ou've got Merlin popping up all over the place cooking up ingenious ruses.
I've been carrying around a romantic association with that time period since I was a kid.
I recently went back and read the actual stories that make up the foundation of these myths.
Let me tell you something. These are some of the pettiest, most blood thirsty people you have ever heard of. There is nothing noble about them.
They kill on a whim. They lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want. There is no value for the sanctity of human life in these stories. It is mostly a bloodbath with people literally having their heads chopped off every two or three pages.
It's the same with much of Shakespeare as well, a ton of violence and treachery. Yet these are the stories that have endured through the centuries and are taught to our youths in English class.
Meanwhile, there are people all around us, everywhere we go, who are true heroes. But their stories are never talked about. Here are a few that I've picked up over the last couple of years.
A mom is pregnant with twins. It is discovered during an ultrasound that one of the babies has a dangerous heart problem. Her doctor decides that the baby with the heart problem needs to be aborted to save the life of the other. The doctor insists on it.
But the mom feels that the doctor is too busy and isn't paying close enough attention. The explanation doesn't make sense because it doesn't sound like the doctor has a full grasp of the facts.
The mom says no. She's not aborting the baby. The doctor starts badgering the mom, but the mom sticks to her guns. When the twins are born, they end up in intensive care, but with a routine procedure, both children survive and are now flourishing.
After 9/11 a man in his forties decides to join the Army. He has a flourishing business and a family, but he feels called to serve his country. He leaves it all behind and becomes the oldest man in his basic training group by a couple of decades. Through hard work and dedication, he earns the respect of his comrades, and then gets shipped off to Iraq.
Somewhere along the line he becomes disillusioned with the war but keeps going because of the commitment he made to defend his brothers at arms. In the heat of battle, his tank gets blown up and he sustains a severe head injury that requires brain surgery. Miraculously, he survives and is able to continue on, living a rewarding and meaningful life. This man sacrificed himself attempting to protect his fellow citizens and paid a heavy price for it.
A kid has a best friend whose mother is a crack addict. The best friend's mom is running the streets, prostituting herself for drugs. One night, the kid's mom goes over and pulls the crack addict mom out of her house by force and takes her to rehab.
The crack addicted mom completes the drug rehab program, gets clean, studies and goes on to become a drug addiction counselor who helps others clean their lives up as well. She puts her life back together, and her son goes on to be a star basketball player and college graduate.
Both moms are heroes in this case.
A dad has an autistic son. The mother abandoned them. The best school in the region for autistic children is an hour from where the dad and son live.The dad pays a babysitter to stay with the son at night so he can work a night job. During the day, he drives his son an hour in each direction to and from school.
While the boy is in class, the dad drinks a free hot chocolate at his local chocolate shop and snoozes on a bench in the shopping center. He shakes himself awake on instinct when it is time to pick up his son and drive home. He does this every single day so that his son can have the best education possible.
An older gentleman has complete kidney failure. He is given 6 months to live and is put at the end of the organ donors list. The chances of him finding a suitable donor in time are slim. His daughter steps up and gives him one of her kidneys. The surgery is a success. The father lives another 20 years, watching his grandkids grow and enjoying life. His daughter is doing fine, and nobody could ever guess just by looking at her that she only has one kidney.
And of course, I have a place in my heart for every business owner who has built an organization from the ground up. These people are in the grocery stores where we shop. They are sleeping on benches when we walk by. They are at parks having picnics.They are all around us.
They are you. And they are me.
These stories will never be taught in school, but as examples of integrity, grit, sacrifice, and principle, they are a better education than what most kids will learn from the standard curriculum.
Here is the rub. We only get these stories by talking to people. We have to get to know our neighbors. We have to ask them about their lives and how they became who they are. And then we have to share good stories with the people we care about.
This is a big part of how cultures form, through stories that exemplify the values we want to teach. The stories are all around us.
There are heroes everywhere.
Thank you so much for your time today.
I hope that you have a truly blessed day!