Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ordinary Heros

You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated, to reach challenging goals.

Sir Edmund Hillary
Hello Jen
Question: What is a 33 year old New Zealand beekeeper doing over 29,000 feet in the air?

Answer: He's standing on top of the tallest mountain on the Earth.

At 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953 Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stepped on to the top of Mount Everest.

He wasn't Sir Edmund until he got to England and met a young woman named Elizabeth who had just been inaugurated Queen Elizabeth II. And she quickly knighted him.

Hillary had been climbing mountains since his youth and had, in fact, made several expedition climbs around Everest and other areas in the Himalayas before he ever set foot on the summit of Everest.

That brings to my mind so many other people, ordinary people, who do something extraordinary once that makes them famous. And I sometimes wonder what the rest of their lives were like.

How many other miles did the legendary messenger Pheidippides run before he was picked to bring the news of the successful battle of Marathon to the Greeks?

How many races did Roger Bannister run and win before he stepped across the finish line in less than 4 minutes?

How many hours did Neil Armstrong spend learning about space travel before he stepped on the moon?

How many wounds did Florence Nightingale patch up before she established her nursing school in England and write the book on contemporary nursing?

How much danger and brutality did Harriet Tubman endure before she escaped and began to rescue hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad?

How many hours did Rosa Parks spend sitting at the back of the bus before she took her rightful seat at the front?

These were ordinary people, like you and me, "sufficiently motivated" as Hillary put it, to face a challenge and win, not because they wanted to be famous, but because they believed in themselves and what they were doing.

There are many other heroes in the world who will never be famous, but whose lives are histories of problems solved, difficulties overcome and challenges met. Each of us may have an opportunity to join them. If it occurs, take it.

DB - Vagabond Journeys, and
never give up.

1 comment:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I think the opportunities to do something remarkable can be elusive, especially with so many of us out there. The important thing is to keep putting yourself out there and maybe a chance will come along. It is kind of like playing the lottery, you cannot win if you do not play.