Whenever I come across a compelling quote or idea, I'll write it down on a sticky note and post it on my wall. That means I have a lot of sticky notes on my wall. Today I happened to look at one of those notes, and it reads:
HERO = SELF-SACRIFICE
This thought really stood out to me today as I did my normal cursory survey of social media feeds, blogs, and the like; the notion that a hero is not the person who is at the top of the heap, but rather, the person at the bottom, looking up and around and making sacrificial efforts to influence and impact others for their betterment, as compared to, always focused on their own self-advancement and realization.
So much of what we make and share these days is for the purposes of elevating ourselves; for showing the world how much of a "hero" we really are. But in the process, we turn into villains. We cat call and we betray and we criticize and we skew and we produce lies and we cover up and we cheat and and we flatter and we confess trivialities so that others will bend down and let us climb on their backs, all the way up to the top of the social heap. But eventually, we'll fall because someone else will do what we did to get to the up.
If we want to be real heroes, we need to drop the self realization tendencies, lose the self advancement impulses, and begin self-sacrificing for the betterment of others. What does that look like for you? I don't know. That's up to you. But it starts with a decision to sacrifice more than you do trying to advance.