Heroism is immortality. Heroes may die but their legacy will stay. It will continue to linger as long as there is a world where it can linger upon.
People place heroes on a high pedestal and view them as legendary. Maybe this is why all of us aspire to become a hero. We long for immortality; we all want to be remembered even after we are gone. We fear oblivion, so we live our lives trying to become a hero. But how does a person become one? What makes a person a hero in this day and age?
When we speak of heroes, there are two familiar images that come into our minds. The first are the fictional characters who possess transcendent powers and wear multi-colored suits and flying capes. They are given supernal abilities to defeat the evil forces and defend the oppressed. The second are the national heroes who have had this undying love for our country. They stood up to what they think was right. They defended the nation against foreign colonizations, to protect the country and to unite the people even if the price was to risk their lives. From these given qualities, we may think of it as a challenge to become one, or that no one can be labeled as a hero in our present time. But the world is revolving and the ideals are evolving! We need not to embrace the classic ideologies because we, ourselves, could create our own.
Nowadays, giving your life for the benefit of others seems impractical. We toil to climb the ladder of success and we don’t have the luxury of time to extend our hands to those below us. But there are some who manage to do so– our modern day heroes.
We are fond of relishing things on big screens, bulky books, and cyberspace. We tend to look up to and even try to emulate the icons that the world introduces to us, that we often forget to look around and see who the real heroes are. These other heroes play a crucial role in our lives. They are the people behind our success. We become the professionals we are today or will become tomorrow because of them. They chose their job not because of the money. In fact, the path that they traveled was less likely to bring them on top. It won’t make them rich or famous. Their profession is seldom noticed and acknowledged.
Our parents believed that education was the foundation of all dreams so they sent us to schools, and our teachers reminded us that dreams should prosper n our hearts. They gave lessons using extraordinary approaches to somehow catch our attention, similar to how superheroes’ powers work. They served as our mothers while we were away from home. There were times when they would defend us from our classmates, but there were also times when they would punish and correct us when we were wrong, just like what mothers do.
Their job lasts longer than the regular 8-hour schedule because they continue to touch our lives even after the class is over, even after we receive our diploma, and long after they are gone. The courage that they have is unyielding. They bloom in times of adversity and continue to educate with conviction. They are determined to make a change so they start by giving proper education. They persevere– they never give up on us no matter how stubborn or how slow learners we are. They are selfless. They sacrifice their time just to make sure we learn. They give their lives so we can have life. Lastly, they stay humble. Even without recognition, they continue to teach because this is their mission. They do not boast, but rather keep a smile on their faces knowing they have illuminated lives and uplifted souls. While the classic heroes are greatly admired in the society, the teachers live quiet lives. They are content seeing us graduate and achieve the dreams that we once dreamt inside the four corners of the classroom.
Believe me, I know. I know because I grew up surrounded by the best teachers in town! My admirable aunts and of course, my Wonder-mom.
Our teachers are alive and breathing. They are being judged by every mistake they commit. Their imperfections are seen by the naked eye. We may even think that what they do involves nothing phenomenal. The thing is, they do simple things superbly and wholeheartedly.
To be a teacher requires two major duties; to educate and to love. These may be the most common things in life, but these are the hardest to do, especially when you are an imperfect human being who yearns for eminence. And I’m so blessed to be educated and be loved by the people around me.
We may forget the lessons that our teachers taught us but we will never forget how they touched our lives and made us feel loved despite our innocence and ignorance. We continue to dream because they taught us to do so. Their heroism is alive; breathing.