Sunday, August 8, 2010

Unnoticed heroes

I've been thinking lately about everyday heroes, the ones we don't see because they are so very ordinary.  I expect most of you know what I'm talking about - some of you are probably nodding and thinking Oh yes, I know who she means. Heck, most days I feel like one of them. I do too sometimes, so have been trying to notice the unrecognized around me and let them know that I see them and appreciate what they do by saying, "thanks, I saw how you did thus and so and I appreciate it." Sometimes I get a great reaction, a blinding smile or  story, other times they just look at me like I'm intruding. I think both are reasonable and appropriate reactions. I'm sure sometimes I am intruding.

I realize this may seem trite - isn't good customer service what we pay for? Aren't we supposed to be kind to one another? Well, sure, but so often we're tired, cranky, overwhelmed by the world that being kind and patient becomes a kind of heroic act.

Here are some of the unnoticed heroes I've been trying to pay attention to:

  • The woman who bagged my groceries and took the time to put all the cold stuff in one bag. I also noticed her speaking patiently and clearly to the old lady behind me who seemed to be having a tough time getting through the line.
  • The school crossing guard from my grade-school. Loretta's aunt. I never did say thank you to her when I was a kid, so I'll do it now. Thanks for keeping us safe and never getting mad when we were brats.
  • The customer service rep at the bank who called me to tell me my credit card had unusual charges. I know it was his job, but he was friendly and patient when I panicked.
  • The kid who picked up some trash dropped by his friend without making a big deal out of it.
  • The people behind the scenes who make the big acts of heroism possible - the 911 operators, the police dispatchers, the staff at suicide hotlines, the maintenance staff at hospitals.
Who are some of the unnoticed heroes in your world? What have you noticed lately? Who do you need to thank? Take the risk. It's a small heroic act in itself.

(c)2010 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

1 comment:

  1. logan airport in the morning, just checked in and my flight had taken off.
    what did i do? was this a self fufilled phopesy, as God knew i did not want to go.
    the wedding at annapolis i could miss, my nieces wedding, my sister expecting me, but my kids.
    i could not do that to my children, so i put myself on standby with any carrier going to baltimore md.
    last person boarded on second standby and there was one seat left, i made it.
    once seated i realized i had not called my sister, this is before cellphones, and i realized what i had done, and started in a full blownpanic attack.
    a very talky woman was seated beside me, i could hardly breathe, i tried to ignore her, with little success.
    she kept pursueing the conversation, and thats when i told her what was going on.
    she introduced herself and stated she would be there if i needed.
    as she continued to speak, and i continued to try and breathe, she went on.
    she gave me her name which i forgot immediately and informed me her husband toby was picking her up at the airpot.
    she went on to say how familar they were with annapolis, as their graduated from there.
    then she told me her and her husband would drive me to annapllis, right to the officie's club, where the wedding would be.
    when we reached the airport i was introduced to toby, a big, warm man, with enthuasism for my story.
    i followed them to the car hardly saying a word, i was still trying to breathe, and off we was a long drive and we finially reached annapollis and toby pulled right up to the front door of the officers club, and we said our goodbyes.
    i made it for the wedding, my sister and my children, a very happy ending.
    thre is only one thing wrong with this story, i never got there names or address or phone number, that is how bad off i was on that day.
    i always look back on that day as a miracle from two angels i met only once and will be forever grateful


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