Finding Heroes By Merrilee Boyack
How could I ever forget? My father would tell me stories of the greatness of Winston Churchill and he would end with Churchill’s call, “Never, never, never give up!” To this day, I have that saying on my wall. Churchill was one of my heroes.
I could never forget. My mother reading to me from her giant Bible and telling me the story of Queen Esther and what a brave, strong woman she was as she saved her people. To this day, the verse calling Queen Esther to action rings in my ears. She is one of my heroes.
Being a parent or grandparent gives us a wonderful opportunity to share with our children their own journey of finding heroes in their lives. Too often, parents miss this opportunity. Then the world offers heroes to our children—movie stars, athletes, or the reality star of the day. Some of these heroes may be less than the stellar role models they could be.
Instead, we can help our kids find true heroes that will inspire and motivate them.
We can tell the stories. Tell them the stories of your heroes and share with them why they are important to you. You may tell them of your grandma who inspired you to endure hardship. You may share the story of a figure in history that caused you to be brave. These are the bedtime stories that change children’s lives.
Get them biographies. I can remember fourth grade clearly. I had a lot of anxiety in fourth grade and was referred to the school counselor. She had me read the book “Charlotte’s Web” and taught me that I was capable of great things. Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider became my heroes. I then was encouraged to read biographies. Over the next year, I read every biography in the library. I read about Clara Barton—fearless, George Washington—great integrity, George Washington Carver—creative, and Cleopatra—ok, a bit interesting. Those stories and the many, many more I read became guideposts of inspiration for my future.
We can also take our kids to meet real-life heroes. Take them to uplifting lectures, concerts, plays, and different places so they can meet real-life people who are contributing to the world.
It can be an exciting journey introducing heroes into our children’s lives. And just remember Churchill’s call to action, “Never, never, never give up!”