By Renee Lynda Martinez
I suppose that a hero lies in the eyes of the beholder. I started writing a novel almost 10 years ago and the main character is a vampire who takes the lives of only murderers, rapists, child molesters and animal abusers. I created her from my idea of what a hero would be like. The type of heroine that I would be. This is quite a far cry from the days of my childhood, when I wanted to be Wonder Woman.
As I grew up and grew older, I still had my fantasies of what a hero would be like but the black and white slowly bled into each other and I found that there is a beautiful shade of gun-metal gray that appeals to my senses.
My idea of a hero/heroine is not one, solely, of a super-human dressed in tights, a cape, body armor or who possesses super-human strength or powers - although, that aspect is appealing when presented creatively. I now see heroes who look like everyday people… like you and like me. I see Harvey Milk, a tall, gangly, middle-aged Jewish guy from New York who stood up for the most basic of Human Rights and was murdered in cold blood because of it. His body died but his legacy goes on. I see Malala Yousafzai, a 16 year-old Pakistani girl who also stood up for the most basic of Human Rights and, who was nearly assassinated because of her convictions. She is a living miracle and her legacy has only begun. In both of them, I see the hero that I wish to become. I see that I don’t have to be Wonder Woman or the vampire who exterminates the scum of the earth in order to be someone’s hero. I simply have to speak up for someone who may feel oppressed and inspire others to do the same.
I wear no letter “S” upon my chest but my heart carries the strength of that symbol. I have no Lasso of Truth to use on others… I only use it to speak my truth. My weapons consist of my words, my actions and my intent. When I grow up, I want to be just like Harvey Milk and Malala Yousafzai. I want to be a real Hero.