Saturday, May 27, 2006

My hero

Have you ever really known someone on a personal level that amazed you in everyway? This person has been in your life for years yet you still find yourself in awe of them. I have someone in my life that is and always will be my hero, someone the world benefits from just because they are here. In more ways than one this person has shined, and the effects have been felt far and wide.
Too many people in modern day society will take a troubled childhood or a broken home and use it as an excuse for whatever failures they produce or hardships they might encounter. My hero took a stormy childhood and used it as motivation to rise above circumstances. Provided little to no moral support by his family unit, more criticism than encouragement, success was improbable for my hero in most people’s eyes. The journey for my hero is nowhere close to over, but the adventure thus far keeps me waiting with baited breath to see what the future holds.
By the time I encountered my hero in high school, he had endured more than most in a lifetime. Yet even so early off in life, the effects he had on the world around him were apparent. Each and every person close to him in his life was benefited in some way from the relationship. His influence ranged from encouragement, comedic relief, athletic challenge, confidant, all the way to scapegoat. Not all these relationships benefited him, but he was strong enough to carry the burden for those that needed him in there lives.
As if the hand life dealt him was not quite challenging enough, enter me to add to the stakes of the game. I was a melodramatic, strong spoken, rebellious teenager with a chip the size of Mt. Rushmore on my shoulder. I was dangerously independent to the point of almost closing everyone out of my life. My home life was far from the everyday troubles and trials that he had been raised in, but more along the dramatic suburban line. I was a free thinking, open minded youth in a conservative toe the line world. I was fighting my way out of a world I simply did not fit into.
Barely knowing much of my situation or about me for that matter, my hero became the most important person in my life. When I was ready to shut the door on the world of others completely, he showed me a glimmer of hope for humankind. He was a balance that I had never before experienced. Strong when I was weak, Relaxed when I was stressed, Optimistic when I was depressed, Funny when I was sad. To simply state it, he was exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it.
My hero allowed me to develop into whatever I was to become. He did not try to influence me in one way or another, but simply allowed me to take the path I needed to. He helped me up when I stumbled, and cheered the loudest at my accomplishments, but never pushed.
Even if his influence stopped there, he would be a hero in my world. But in my opinion he is a Hero for the world, so I go on.
My Hero feels he has a curse. It’s a curse that many would take off his hands at any point in time. Artistic Talent. He calls it his curse because, it is not always what he feels like doing with his life, but he feels the obligation to take advantage of what he has been given and worked so hard to develop. It is also one of those doubled edged swords, because it gives him the greatest sense of both accomplishment and failure.
My hero has a very gifted artistic talent and he has used it to benefit so very many people in so many very different ways. He has produced art work for many people in many different areas of the world, from local groups going on vacation to Little League in our hometown, he has produced artwork for every employer he has every had from the restaurant we all worked at right after high school to his infantry units with the US Army. He has worked with BIC mechanical pencils on copy paper to working on a digital tablet on high end PC workstations.
The element of his art that most impresses me, and is one of his most heroic traits, is his willingness to share it with the world. I am not referring to him sharing the product of his artistic talent, but the sharing of his knowledge. He gives himself to all that ask and are willing to learn. He has committed uncountable hours to review and critiquing others art, creating personalized tutorials, sitting one on one. He believes not only in his own talent, but in the importance of helping other artist grow and expand there own knowledge and talents. This trait runs over into most areas of his life.
My hero is always willing to watch out for the other guy; he never forgets the team and places high value in the spirit of the underdog. For as amazingly talented he is at most things he does, he couldn’t be a better team player. He is a natural born leader.
His leadership skills have never taken a more world wide impact than the time he has spent with the US Army. He is currently serving overseas with the Army on his second tour in Kuwait. He has often and is again placed in command of many younger and less experienced soldiers than himself. He has an amazing strength to carry a team and the spirit to create a bond. Those both result in an amazing team confidence and a relationship among each other that is a benefit not only to them but the hostility of their environment benefits from such team coercion. In an area where lack of team communication can set off a variety of unpleasant events, the importance of teamwork and the responsibility to lead through example could not be placed in better hands.
As he cares for his soldiers and the world wide concerns they are responsible to uphold. He still finds the time to dedicate himself as a father. My hero shines with a urethral glow when he comes to his natural love and amazing relationships with his 3 children. One might think that because his parenting example was weak, that his skills might be lacking. Reality could be nothing farther from that statement. From the outside looking in, you might think his actions were a result of overcompensation to make sure things are very different from his own childhood. As someone who knows him and sees him on an everyday level with his children, you will know it is just a natural love and nurturing spirit that leads his actions and responses to his girls.
As a man’s man, he has an uncanny ability to relate and find common ground with his 3 young girls. Give him 10 years and they might not relate on the same level, but I know that they will always be able to sense the love their father has for them. He has stated that even if it requires him showing up at their high school in a Bunny costume just to embarrass them, he will always make his presence in their lives known.
My hero is so many things to so many people all at the same time. Part of what amazes most is his ability to juggle all of the responsibility he has. The ability to shift gears, change hats and fill another role so quickly.
Hero: A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life
My hero fits that definition in everyway. He has shown courage, lived his life with purpose and has sacrificed his life many ways at many times. I will never stop adoring, respecting, admiring and idolizing my hero. Living life in proximity to someone who has and will do such great things only inspires greatness. I have and will always be a better person because of the example set by my hero.

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