Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Hero Within

Today I had an epiphany, a revelation, a rebirth so to speak. So often we reach a point in our lives where we say there's nothing more, no hope and we accept the defeat of both time and relationships, waiting until that moment when we take that long, deep step descending into the cold, damp ground. We watch zombie movies knowing full well that we have become no different, unfeeling, unloved, carrying on daily through routine motions without any hope of redemption. We never fully understand how or why we let it happen, and we can't even recall exactly when it did happen, but somewhere in the past, life silently slipped away leaving us with nothing but the shadows of its depression. We are drained, physically and emotionally unable to move either forward or backward, frozen in our hopelessness. At this point many of us have succumbed to the medical reflief in little plastic bottles or the excesses of vitners in much larger glass bottles but either way we have merely admitted defeat and have relegated the person we may have once been to an irretrievable past. So many willingly releasing who and what they were into the realm of shades, creating a living death from the chaff of failed dreams. We have become beings without substance, lacking purpose, barren of focus and lost to everything and everyone we once held important.
I freely admit that at times I felt myself slipping away into the abyss of failed nightmares and shattered dreams, praying, hoping that someone would toss a lifeline into the spiralling milieu that had become my life. The spark had been extinguished long ago and the few times the kindling burst into flames it was shortlived and barely enough to fuel the passions that stirred within my soul.
But today as I said was an awakening. A beginning to forgotten memories and times long buried from a life I once had. The complacency and passiveness that had become the rotting deacay of my spiritual essence had overwhelmed me, robbing form me years of my life. And then today I bore witness to a different decay that has affected our society. The loss of connection from our fellow human beings. We are a people that have become obsessed with being humane in order to conceal our flaws but in the process have lost our humanity. We are unable to feel or care for those we consider strangers; afraid to rush to their aid lest we forfeit our anonymity and the shallowness that we have filled our hearts with. As I sat and ate a meal today I stared outside the window to see a young woman in distress. An argument with a boyfriend, or ex, or what may or may not have been turned ugly. He turned to violence intent on hurting her and even though specatators looked on and others passed pretending not see at all, that spark that within me that I had long ago considered lost ignited into a roaring flame. Before I even realized what I had done, I was outside and between the victim and her attacker. My sudden appearance brushed him backwards with enough force and rage in my voice that he knew that had he even attempted to lay another hand upon her, he may have found it separated from her body. A man in his fifties against the youth and arrogance of twenties. The fury and chivalry that I once had, suddenly returned as if the clock had turned back three decades within the blink of an eye. The feeling of being there for a perfect stranger, willing to risk all because it was the right thing to do, a feeling that personally I never dreamed still existed within me. I had kept it trapped, imprisoned beneath chains of responsibilities and political correctness imposed upon me by an insensitive world that will never shed a tear when I pass on. But today I made a difference and as I heard one person whisper the word 'hero', I have the courage to make every day from now on make a difference.