I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people. – Maya Angelou
This week has been a series of tributes to Nelson Mandela, with good reason: he was a genuine hero to many. A visionary proponent of the transformational powers of justice, peace, forgiveness, courage and reconciliation.
Most of us who admired him never met him. He existed to us through only stories, quotes and images.
Many of our heroes are people we will never have personal contact with.
So why do heroes matter?
Because they light the way, illuminating what matters most deeply to us. They remind us what is truly important to us.
Because usually what inspires us in others are qualities we aspire to or value ourselves.
As part of the values clarification process I do with coaching clients, I ask about the client’s heroes. The actions, qualities and characteristics of our heroes hold up a mirror to ourselves and help us see ourselves and our purpose and mission more clearly.
And by understanding our mission, purpose and values, we can be more intentional about the impact we want to have in our own worlds, see how closely we are living it presently, and take steps to live it out with more integrity.
Try it out:
1) Who inspires you? It could be people in your life, or real, historical or fictional hero/heroine.
2) What draws you to this person?
3) What qualities of this person inspire you?
4) What values of yours are reflected to you this person?
In the Comments below, I’d love to hear your insights on the roles of heroes in your life.
How have your heroes made a difference to you and inspired you as a do-gooder?
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