Posts Tagged With: hero

Hero Origins


Every hero has an origin story. Likewise, every person has a back story. You know, the details of their life that predates when you met them. The back story is an intricate weaving of life experiences, social environments, family dynamics and emotional woundings that initiate a predetermined response to certain situations. What I find interesting is that sometimes we tend to enter situations unconsciously assuming none of those things exist in others.

  • We may not realize a friend was bullied in middle school before telling a joke about kids teasing other kids.
  • We may not understand why someone is sensitive to large crowds after being lost at an amusement park for 6 hours when they were 7 years old.
  • We may even think it’s okay to drag a friend out into the ocean, laughing while ignoring their pleads and animated protesting, never asking if perhaps they nearly drowned a few years ago during a similar incident.

What makes things worse is when the ignorant and uninformed take umbrage at a person’s reaction without bothering to investigate their hypersensitivity. Sometimes we just need to exercise some restraint and compassion and perhaps get to the bottom of a matter. Perhaps then we might discover interactions that promote healing instead of hurt. Words that encourage instead of instigate. Perhaps we won’t find ourselves being unintentionally offensive.

Personally, I love hearing the back story. It gives me greater insight into a person and helps me appreciate them all the more. Who knows? It could be YOUR superhero origin. What’s your back story?

Categories: relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Sugar Coat


I’ll be the first to admit when I don’t understand something. I think everyone suffers when you pretend to understand something you don’t. Usually, I’ll go to the source to try and find out whatever bit of information I’m missing so that I’ll have everything I need on which to base my opinion. If I’m unable to go to the source or the source proves unreliable, I just leave well enough alone. It’s not that I can’t have an opinion, I just don’t think my opinion is any more credible than those who formulate ideas about what an actor is really like, based solely on the roles they play.

Seems silly.

That being said, I’m trying to understand something… how is it that people somehow find a way to make everyone a hero? We make horrible decisions and must deal with the consequences. Nevertheless we will still find a crowd of people rushing to console and defend someone under the guise of being a “real friend”.

I don’t need friends like that. I need someone who will tell me point blank, “Riis, that was wrong.” or “Riis, you need to apologize.” or even “Riis, you messed up bad. Either you make this right or you suffer the fallout alone because I can’t support this kind of behavior.”

See… give it to me straight. Don’t sugarcoat my feelings or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will never grow that way.

Let me say that again…

Don’t sugarcoat my feelings, or pity my shortcomings with silence. I will NEVER grow that way.

Growth is invaluable.

Growth is sometimes painful.

Growth is necessary.

I can’t live without growth.

But I can live without the sugar coat.

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FatCap (A Fatherhood Capsule Story)


At about 4:00am this morning, I was awakened by a knock on my bedroom door. My wife heard the thumping as well. In her semi-conscious state from under the covers, she gently nudged me with her elbow, followed by a muffled “someone’s at the door”. Not at all completely awake myself, the first words out of my mouth – I believe – were something that sounded in retrospect like, “I have don’t know my pants on.”

Folding back the covers to check and discover that I indeed had no pants on, I proceeded to scramble hurriedly into my pajamas and stumble toward the door where, upon opening it, stood my only daughter, crying.

With tears streaming down her face, she told me that she couldn’t sleep because her throat was killing her and had actually woken her up from the pain. Of course, with my heart swollen, I gathered her into my arms and led her toward the medicine cabinet in our bathroom… in the dark… not completely sure I wasn’t dreaming, but going with it anyway because, well, she’s my daughter and I’d fight the world for her. Even in my dreams.

I managed to pick out the medication she needed. Successfully measured it without spilling it (I think). Then hugged her tightly before praying for her healing, and for her to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

I got back in the bed and didn’t see her again until around 11:30am, downstairs in the kitchen.

And with a smile, she thanked me, told me she felt better, and was so glad that she was able to fall asleep.

I felt like a hero. A tired hero. But a hero nonetheless. 🙂

Categories: family, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pull Of The Cape


Ever since I was a teenager I wanted to be a HEROcool Not the kind of super hero who foiled the plans of criminal masterminds with my single bound tall building leaps, locomotive power and bullet speed. Not necessarily the kind of hero who safely retrieved POW’s from deep in enemy territory.

No.

I wanted to be a kind of machismo-infused hero, rescuing contemporary “damsels in distress” who, in my limited experience at the age of 16, were so often the victims of relationships gone horribly wrong. The tales I’d hear of betrayal, degradation and distress from some of my female friends angered me, but also filled me with compassion and an overwhelming desire to comfort them in some way.

So it was that I wanted to be that stand-up guy who came along and mended their broken hearts by being to them what other men could or would not. Fulfilling their unrealized expectations. I wanted to fix the traumatized emotions of all the disappointed and disillusioned women I knew.

Ha! As if that were even possible.

As you can probably surmise, this was not at ALL practical or realistic. Still, it took me a long time to realize that, though I had the best of intentions, I simply couldn’t save everyone.

Correction…

I couldn’t save anyone. bummed

Except one.

To that one, I endeavored to define a man who successfully balanced his testosterone-influenced emotions with chivalry, romance and an understanding of authority. I made a silent promise to show her what it meant to be a modern-day hero upon whom she could always rely, trust and rest her confidence. I made a similar promise to my only daughter so that winning her heart would require the power and determination that only a hero possessed.

And yet, even now I will occasionally feel the “pull of the cape” begging to be worn when I talk to my female friends who are miserable and misunderstood. I refrain because I understood a long time ago that trying to be that for more than one woman would actually mean being that for no one. What I mean is that every woman deserves the undivided attention of the man who holds their heart. My divided attention would be both hypocritical and ineffective.

So for those, I simply listen with a sympathetic ear and an encouraging smile. And hope that one day THEIR hero will appear.

Categories: personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hero By Design


As my 42-year-old, 30-week-pregnant wife and I were both changing and getting ready for bed, I looked at her and told her that I found her pregnant belly to be radiantly beautiful.

Looking down at her bare stomach, she smiled and said she felt like she’d finally moved into the “glowing belly” phase of this pregnancy. I smiled back and realized just how fortunate we were to be in the home stretch of the birth of our final child.

Then I felt a pang of sorrow. Sorrow for one of our married female friends who, while younger than my wife, has been trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant for… well, forever it seems. She and her husband are now looking into different fertility treatments. They will try multiple treatment options which, if proven to be unsuccessful, will be the deciding factor for them choosing to pursue adoption instead.

According to the CDC there are 6.7 million women ages 15-44 with an impaired ability to have children and 1.5 million married women ages 15-44 that are infertile. Not only that, but statistics indicate that estimates from embryo biopsy reveal that at least 90% of a woman’s eggs are genetically abnormal when a woman is over 40.

Those statistics alone remind me of the fact that healthy pregnancies and births really are miracles. With so many things that COULD go wrong, it is truly a wonder that any of us were born. Let alone born healthy. And yet, incidents of miscarriage or defect remain in the minority.

Because of this, I am a firm believer that there is no real mystery in pregnancy. Women were created to successfully navigate this miraculous process.  It was by design. Something that I, as a man, will never experience and therefore can never fully understand. That is why my admiration is deep and grand.

And this is also why every time I look at my wife, I see a hero.

Categories: family, marriage, personal, relationships, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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