In a world full of monsters, be a hero

photo of a sea turtle on the sea bottom

Everyone can be a hero. Giving your best to the world, in both big and small ways, is heroism. The small acts are important in their own way, but they also train you for the big. Being polite to a stressed-out sales clerk makes his grueling retail day a little easier, and it’s practice for you in being calm and friendly in high-stakes situations. Picking up litter when you walk down the street teaches you to look for problems and then stop to solve them.

Have you seen the video of the woman whose leg was trapped between a subway train and the platform? She was saved by her fellow passengers, who organized themselves to rock the train and free her. Those were people who noticed a problem and stopped to help instead of rushing onward.

Today, if you don’t know what to do in a world of bad news, start small. Treat everyone you meet with kindness. When you see a problem, stop to ask yourself if you can solve it instead of automatically putting it out of your mind. That’s your gift to today, and your practice for tomorrow. Kindness gets easier with practice.

So does picking up litter. If you pick up enough litter, you usually start seeing more ways you can personally have an impact. And if all you ever do is get trash off the street, the sea turtles thank you anyway.

Photo by Baillieux Daniel via Flickr under a Creative Commons license