You Are the Hero
Wilferd Arlan Peterson

  
You may plan to write a book someday, but you are living a book every day.  The Great Biographer is writing the book of your life on the pages of time.  Each day is a page.  Each year is a chapter.

Visualize yourself striding through the pages of time.  Are you hero or villain?  Are you big and fine, tolerant, hopeful, courageous, cheerful, and helpful?  Or are you little, petty, jealous, spiteful?  See your life spread out before you in print, in the pages of a book.  Would that book be a best seller, attracting people to you, or would it be a book you would wish to suppress?  Go off into some quiet spot and think of the pages of your book which you have already lived.  Are you proud of those pages?  Can you improve the chapters that are to follow?  Can you make the ending better than the beginning?

See the words you speak recorded in your book.  See the deeds you do between the covers of the volume that is your life.  Moment by moment you are building the story of your life.  You control your thoughts and acts as an author of a novel controls the thoughts and actions of the characters in his story.  No matter what happens to you in the pages of time, you have the power to react like a hero!

Alexander Dumas wrote:  "All the world cries:  'Where is the man who will save us?'  Don't look so far for this man; you have him at hand.  This man, it is you, it is I, it is each one of us."

The reason progress is slow is that we always expect other men to be the heroes and to live the heroic lives.  But we all have hero stuff in us.  In our sphere of life we can always live more heroically and triumphantly, and grow in heroic stature.

Our task is to discover the heroic qualities in ourselves.  James Whitcomb Riley, the poet, once said, "When you awaken some morning and hear that somebody or other has been discovered, you can put it down as a fact that he discovered himself years ago--since that time he has been toiling, working, and striving to make himself worthy of general discovery."

Explore your mind, discover yourself, then give the best that is in you to your age and to your world.  There are heroic possibilities waiting to be discovered in every person.

To be a hero, it is not necessary to climb Mount Everest, or lead an army to victory.  There is opportunity for heroic living in the humblest spots on earth--in your business, in your home, in your church, in your school, and in your village, town, or city. . . .

When a man thinks of being a hero he often thinks of riding a white charger and saving a maiden in distress.  Actually, however, his heroic living should begin in his own home.  The pages of his book that tell of his home life should be radiant with heroic living.

"The place to take the test of a man," wrote William Cowper Brann, "is not the forum or the field, not the market place or the amen corner, but at his own fireside.  There he lays aside his mask and you may judge whether he is imp or angel, king or cur, hero or humbug.  I care not what the world says of him, whether it crown him with bays or pelt him with eggs;  I care never a copper what his reputation or religion may be; if his children dread his homecoming and his better half has to swallow her heart every time she asks him for a five dollar bill, he's a fraud of the first water, even though he prays night and morn until he is black in the face.  But if his children rush to the front gate to meet him, and love's own sunshine illumines the face of his wife when she hears his footsteps, you may take it for granted that he is true gold, for his home's a heaven and the humbug never got that close to the great white throne of God."

Few of us will do the spectacular deeds of heroism that spread themselves across the pages of our newspapers in big black headlines.  But we can all be heroic in the little things of everyday life.  We can do the helpful things, say the kind words, meet our difficulties with courage and high hearts, stand up for the right when the cost is high, keep our word even though it means sacrifice, be a giver instead of a destroyer.  Often this quiet, humble heroism is the greatest heroism of all.  It is the heroism of true greatness. . . .

You are the hero of your book and it is up to you to think and live like a hero.  Day by day your book grows toward the completed volume of your life story.  You can't do anything about the part of your book already written; that must stand.  But look at those glorious white pages ahead!

  


 
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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.

     

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