Every one has illusions of one day playing the role of the hero.
I bet most people even remember the time when they exhibited the most bravery. Like when you stood up to a bully on behalf of your schoolmate who was being picked on. Or when you intervened in a potential fistfight to save your friend.
Perhaps you even like to talk about that one time you swerved out of the way in your car to avoid hitting a squirrel.
And while these little moments of valor may be points of pride for you to bring up during casual conversation, they still pale in comparison to everyone’s ultimate fantasy of actually doing something really heroic. I mean superhero heroic.
Saving a life. Rescuing someone from imminent death.
Seeing someone in trouble, or being wronged, and stepping in to save them with little regard to your own personal safety. Because that is real courage.
To be fair, very few of us are even presented with such an opportunity. And the only time we ever witness such heroism is on a movie screen. So when you picture someone performing ultimate acts of bravery, we don’t envision the average person on the street, but rather, a comic book hero.
But thankfully, there are people out there who remind us that heroes can be played not just by Iron Man or Captain America, but by those average people on the street.
As you read this, Louisiana is in a state of emergency. Heavy rain has caused historic flooding throughout the region. At least six people are dead, with that number expected to rise. Ten of thousands have been evacuated.
Images in recent days show people walking in water up to their hips. Cars are almost completely submerged. Trees have toppled houses. People can only travel from place to place by boat.
But amid the havoc, there have been videos surfacing on social media of heroic rescue efforts.
A small boat approaches a car that is seconds away from sinking. One of the three men on the boat jumps into the water, rips open part of the roof, and pulls out a women right before the car disappears entirely. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, the man reaches back into the water seconds later, and pulls out a small white dog.
Screw Bat Man and Thor. Forget Black Widow and whoever the hell the superhero is that Jeremy Renner plays in the Avengers.
This man — whose name we may never even know — is a superhero.
It makes that time you swerved to avoid a squirrel seem pretty meaningless in comparison, doesn’t it?
The situation in Louisiana is obviously very bad. But it makes you feel just a teensy bit better knowing there are people around who will unflinchingly throw themselves into the murky abyss to save somebody else.
Take it from this guy. Just because you’re not paid millions to walk around in a cape on a movie set doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes to be a hero.