by Carlee Hulsizer
What makes a superhero? Is it their cape or costume? Is it their ability to fight evil? Or, could it be the fact that millions love and adore them? To be honest, I really don’t believe it is any of these things. I believe there are many types of superheroes who are living among us – we just don’t always know it.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Not all superheroes wear capes,” but what exactly does that mean? When I was a little girl I thought of my mom as a hero. She was patient, loving, and could literally do anything! I witnessed her operate her own business, go back to school, volunteer, and raise two kids. As a child, I thought there were many heroes. My doctor being one of them because he made me feel better when I was sick. The volunteer firefighters in my community were very brave heroes to me as well as my teachers, simply because they taught me new things and truly cared about me. My childhood assumptions were not wrong. Sometimes we must look past the titles of “doctors,” “firefighters,” and “teachers.”
When I think of a superhero, a few words come to mind. Words such as, “brave,” “strong,” “willing,” and “committed” all dance around my head. These words challenge me as an individual to truly think about who qualifies as a hero in the world today. I’ve always loved the saying, “Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.” In the past 22 years of my life, I have fought an awful lot of battles and you know what? I was brave, strong, willing, and committed during each of them. Anytime an individual overcomes a struggle, they are proving that they possess the same qualities that I believe to be that of a hero. Maybe we are all heroes without capes.
Being a hero doesn’t mean you have to fight evil and save millions of people from the end of the world. Sometimes, it means being the best version of yourself and taking responsibility for everything life throws at you. Maybe you’re reading this, and you are a doctor, firefighter, or teacher. Or maybe you’re an individual in recovery from Substance Use Disorder fighting the disease of addiction, one day at a time. Perhaps, you’re a single mom raising two kids and juggling many different jobs. Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that you are my hero. The grit, dedication, and hard work that comes from each of life’s challenges is something to be very proud of. So what challenge has life thrown at you? Are you currently struggling to find your “inner hero,” or want to share a story about being a hero? Let us know!