Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Heroes Among Us

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.

7 comments:

  1. The courage it takes to speak your own truth is a heroic action in itself. Taking the chance of being laughed at or shunned is enough sometimes for me to avoid it. Dying for it is an act that defies my imagination. I hope that I have that kind of courage when the call comes. I remember in a Highschool history class learning about what happened to the Jews and finding out that some of the Germans put their own lives at risk to hide people from the Nazis I believed ,as did most of my classmates, that I would be one of the people that took the chance and helped people. The teacher told us to put ourselves and really think about what the ramifications of taking that kind of action would mean to our own and our families safety. I guess that none of us know just exactly how we will react when we are called apon to do the right thing, which in the heroes journey would be the call to action. I agree with Renee, I want to be the Hero in my own life,

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    1. Brenda, I think we should start our own league of real-life heroes called "The Goddess Brigade". All it takes is that one act of kindness, a smile, an encouraging word or a hug to make a difference in someone's day. And when we are called to go above and beyond (sign petitions, speak at social gatherings, march for a cause), we will be right there to represent. <3

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  2. I agree that the real hero's really do come from simple actions and standing up for what you believe in. People that stand up for themselves and basic human rights really do deserve the label of "real life hero's." I like your idea of the vampire that rids the world of scum. It reminds me of a dexter kind of a character...there might be a debate whether "eye for an eye" is a heroic theme. I think that it becomes complicated when you have to decide how to be heroic.
    Great post!

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    1. Thank you, Eliana. :) This is a bit of a stretch (using real-life heroes) but I had to mention the vampiric-side of me. Oddly enough, the ending to my novel is the main character being led back to the light when she encounters an angel and he teaches her that it's not up to her to seek out vengeance. It's all a process, I suppose.

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  4. I agree, Miss Renee. The world needs more heroes like Harvey and Malala. I like to believe that they are out there, the heroes. We don't see them but they change our world everyday for the better. Thank you for reminding me.

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  5. hi Renee. i'm writing because today in class you said that Milk and Malala were worlds apart. their genetics are actually probably very similar. Mizrahi jews, or arab jews are more common than you may know. along with saphardic jews (spanish), they lived all throughout the region. Milks ancestors probably only 100-200 years ago, lived within 1000 miles of Malala's home.

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