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Holten: Your hero might just surprise you

"We are all teachers and preachers, whether we know it or not,'" writes Kevin Holten.

Kevin Holten
Kevin Holten
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Who is your hero? Whomever you choose, it might tell us more about you than it does about your hero?

For the sake of this discussion, let’s eliminate family members from the competition and assume that many of them would qualify.

But let’s also eliminate them because I believe it takes someone from outside of the family, someone with an unbiased opinion, to truly legitimize you at some point in your life.

Because let’s face it, today in society, sometimes sonny can do no wrong. And if someone in any position of authority tries to discipline him even though he’s in the wrong, mommy and daddy might just bail him out, thereby eliminating any lesson that might have been learned.

Fact is, it sometimes appears that discipline was tossed out with the bath water.

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On the other hand, thanks to our travels around the country producing television shows for RFD-TV and the Cowboy Channel, we meet a lot of rural farm and ranch kids who are without question, the best kids in the world.

They’re that way because they learn responsibility early on when working with and caring for animals. And they learn even more when they witness their parents managing and caring for their land.

Still, everyone needs a hero, and the hope is that your hero, especially those who are part of your life early on, are good people.

In my youth, I was a restless kid. And being asked, from the age of six on, to spend my days cramped in a classroom and, on top of that, being ordered to “sit still” was a cruelty beyond measure.

And so, I acted out and became the class clown, driving my sixth-grade teacher to her wits end and at that point she told me that I would never amount to anything.

So, I looked up the definition of anything and quickly discovered that what she really meant was everything. I would never be good at everything, and my future looked quite bleak.

But things change. And suddenly, in seventh grade, we had a new basketball coach that was someone who actually believed in me. And low and behold, it reset my life’s course to where I was now focused on meeting that person’s expectations rather than the other.

That’s all it took. Kids need to be encouraged.

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So, you have to wonder which of the two was my real hero? Truth be told, when measuring the ultimate results of their actions, they both were. And that reveals that you don’t even have to like someone for them to be your hero.

Which brings up another point.

Former Alabama Governor Bob Riley once said that hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed. In other words, during hard times, heroes rise up and it’s quite possible that the hero you discover might just be you.

Actor Christopher Reeve once said that a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

So, if you can just persevere in every situation that life tosses your way, you can actually be the hero in your own story.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Dickinson Press, nor Forum ownership.

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