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“Not all Hero’s wear capes”

Not all hero’s wear capes’, this is an expression we hear a lot these days, mainly on social media platforms, referring to frontline workers risking infection with Covid 19 for the good of others.  What does this phrase actually mean? Well by definition, it is considered a catchphrase describing everyday people who do good deeds, those capable of courageous behaviour in times of adversity.  

The phrase draws comparison between real world people and the superhero we see in comics and movies.  Let’s contemplate these Superhero’s for a moment.  I mean, who hasn’t thought about what super power they would wish for, like invisibility or being able to fly.  To truly define Hero, we must first explore the definition.  The dictionary definition is my personal favourite “A figure of divine descent, endowed with a great strength or ability.”  I think that represents it perfectly.  What I wonder, is that are we all not Hero’s?  By that definition, we are all of divine descent and yes we are all carrying our own special unique strengths and ability.  So I put it to you, yes you, you are a hero in your reality.  I am a hero in mine. Might give the spandex hero outfit a miss though! 

The real world may not have masked or caped hero’s but this is a nation of superheroes, and we only have to look at our local hospitals, ambulance services, fire services, Garda Siochana, and the many frontline workers that have kept us fed and safe during this pandemic.  Being a nurse, I see every day that it is not just the hospital staff that assume “hero” title but the patients who have to face illness and adversity, their loved ones, their communities.  Contemplating this, made me see that a hero takes many shapes and forms. 

  1. A hero for yourself!  Yes, we can be our own hero as already suggested.  How? Well by good self-care, and compassion to ourselves and others.  A study completed taking groups of people worldwide, suggests that 1 in 2 people suffer from low self-love and appreciation.  In a world where our physical and mental health hangs forever in the balance, this is a worrying statistic.  How do we become our own hero?  I would assume that is an individualised experience but simply taking time out and not feeling guilty is one way.  Getting out in nature, listening to something that makes your heart swell, surrounding yourself with people who feel like sunshine (and many other ways, that I am sure are not new information to any of us, but so difficult to commit to).  As the airlines tells us, “please fit your own oxygen mask before fitting anyone else” making a hugely valuable point, we cannot be a hero to anyone, if we do not mind ourselves too. I am not sure where I have seen this, possibly a meme on Facebook, but thought it apt “BE YOUR OWN HERO, IT IS CHEAPER THAN A MOVIE TICKET”! 
  1. Hero’s in our personal life’s.  There is a beautiful song by “Owl City” called by the same title. “not all hero’s wear capes” which inspired me to write this.  In the lyrics Adam Young talks so lovingly and honestly about his Father.  He describes the things he cannot do, such as fight crime, read minds, etc., but he also acknowledges the special relationship they have.  And my favourite line “but every time my world needs saving, he’s my superman”.  I am sure we all know, or are blessed to have someone close to us that fits this description of our personal hero.  For me it was my late brother Gerry, but I will leave that story for another time. 
  1. Hero’s in our world.  There are amazing people out there, who have powerful influence for the greater good.  I am sure you can name so many.  The few that I think of are,
  • Martin Luther king jr
  • Anne Frank
  • Florence Nightingale
  • Usain Bolt
  • Mother Teresa
  • Dalai Lama
  • Nelson Mandela 
  • Trischa Zorn

There are so many but you get the idea.  Hero’s of our world are not necessarily famous, and can be walking amongst us, without us even knowing. 

So, every couple of weeks I hope to discuss real life hero’s here, and have some interviews with people who inspire, people who are brave and who see the silver linings and reach for them.  

I have some very special guests lined up, a guy who is a talented musician and has his story about being blind, and how that has never held him back, no matter what the challenge. I will be speaking with a life coach who has changed lives, through the power of social media (tic toc). I will also be chatting with a family who have overcome tragic sibling loss, and have set up a charity to support others going through bereavement. And lots more special people stories.  Also if you would like me to feature your personal hero or even more important, you are a hero and you would like your story heard to inspire others, please contact me.  I would love to hear from you.  

I am going to leave it at a quote close to my heart, by Ronald Reagan “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”.  

Until next time, be kind to yourself and each other. 


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