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A hope note

We don’t need to look far to find heroes.
There’s no need to conjure up a distant warrior or athlete, movie star or world leader, to move and inspire us. Furthermore, if we knew them up close and personal, they might lose their luster.
I like the way Edward Abbey, once referred to by Larry McMurtry as the Thoreau of the American West, said it: ‘Yes, there are plenty of heroes and heroines everywhere you look. They are not famous people. They are generally obscure and modest people doing useful work, keeping their families together, and taking an active part in the health of their communities, opposing what is evil (in one way or another) and defending what is good.’
‘Heroes do not want power over others. There are more heroic people in the public school system than there are in the world of politics, military, big business, the arts and the sciences combined.’
I recently spoke with a father who regularly takes his young daughters on nature walks. As they walk, he points out flowers and leaves and wildlife, calling each by name.
That daddy is giving his girls a gift that will keep on giving, a gift good for a lifetime, a gift that will outlive him, a gift far superior to an iPod or a new video game. Those girls will be telling their grandchildren someday about magic walks with Dad.
Keats was right: ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.’
The best news is this: You and I, ordinary people, have a chance to become some child’s hero.