Forget About Being a Hero – but Save the World Anyway

By Mary Jaksch

Lately we’ve seen many images of heroes pulling out survivors from collapsed buildings. I admire the work of firefighters and Urban Search and Rescue teams; they are heroes. But do we have to be heroes in order to help others? Mark Bezos, a New York volunteer fire fighter, suggests a totally unheroic way of saving the world. Check out his funny and inspiring 6-minute video below. (If you can’t see the video, click here to watch it.)

What do you think of this video? Please share in the comments.

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  1. I love this video.

    Saving those shoes. A thank you card for the smallest gesture. Holding the door open for a stranger. Put a quarter in someone’s parking meter. Smiling at a stranger who doesn’t expect it.

    Just one kind gesture can make another’s day and change their lives. The tricky part is stepping outside of your own stressful life in order to have compassion.

    Thank you Mary
    Christopher´s last blog post ..Move The Earth Before It Moves You

  2. Diane says:

    I would like to add, do it anonymously. We don’t do it for the thanks. We do it because it’s the right thing to do, and, we feel good about ourselves and others. This is one secret that can’t and won’t hurt anyone.
    Diane´s last blog post ..Movie Monday- Throwing a Wine Cooler

  3. Marianne says:

    Beautiful message! Thank you Mary
    Marianne´s last blog post ..Thoughts about the Japan Crisis

  4. This is an important message. We often overlook the small things in life but it’s those small things that have a lasting impact. They are the kindest of gestures suggesting that somebody took the time to think beyond the big picture and connect with us one on one. And we each have a “shoes” story that we can tell without remembering the person behind it. These small acts contribute to the love in our hearts; the love we receive and in turn give to others. Thanks Mary for finding this video and sharing it.

  5. Mary, I love this video! It’s so relevant to the project I am working on these days: inspiring people to make a difference at the community level. It’s much easier to start small, gain momentum and then change the world on a grand scale. It all starts with helping just one person or one animal and that makes all the world of difference to them!
    marianney | A Life Set Free´s last blog post ..How Everyday People Change the World

  6. Thanks Mary,

    It’s so inspiring to be reminded that we can all be heroes each and everyday. You never know how even a small act may make a huge difference in someone’s life.
    Sandra / Always Well Within´s last blog post ..Secret Journeys- Sacred Histories- &amp Spiritual Discovery in Modern-Day Tibet

  7. Jaime says:

    Mary, Thank you so much for posting this. I had to repost it on my blog. Sometimes I forget to think small and find myself thinking that if I had more time or money I would help. This reminded me that it doesn’t have to be big to matter!

  8. Gunja says:

    Thanks so much for the beautiful post…
    its uncanny how strongly it resonated with me…I left my job 2yrs back and have not had any income since then.So,initially I used to think what can I contribute,I have no money. I’ll start contributing once I get a new job.But over a year rolled on and nothing much changed…and I was saying the same things to myself.Then suddenly one day I realized that if I keep waiting it’ll probably stay the same forever.So I started saving…on small things,like I walked instead of taking the bus for smaller distances and saved the fare.
    It has been months of such little savings that added up to a thousand rupees which I donated to the Japanese Red Cross yesterday…and boy,did it feel good!
    so yeah…the small things in the mundane does matter indeed!

  9. So very amazing! I absolutely love watching the videos on TED Talks. There’s so much there to learn and grow from.
    Nea | Self Improvement Saga´s last blog post ..38 Money Saving Tips You Can Not Afford to Miss Part 1

  10. Taran says:

    “Hero”–one of the most overused words in the English language today. I wish this word could be saved for when it really means something. Urban search-and-rescue teams are not necesarily heroes. Some individuals may be, but most are probably not. They may work hard, and save lives, but that does not necessarily make them heroes. Someone working hard and conscientiously to do his or her job, without risking anything other than personal comfort is not necessarily a hero.

    I’m guessing that some of the technicians working at the nuclear meltdown may indeed be really heroes. They are risking the possibility/probability of dying an agonizing death.

    Let’s save “hero” for real heros…

    • We’ve recently had a big earthquake in New Zealand. To see Urban Search & Rescue teams pull people out of buildings that were on the brink of further collapse through aftershocks was inspiring and humbling. These people put their own lives at risk as they worked to free others.
      That was heroic.

  11. Vala says:

    The video is delightful. It and Mary’s previous post about taking small steps got me past the frozen helpless feeling when faced by the magnitude of the Japan disaster. I have been focusing my meditations on sending lovingkindness energy to the victims. Later, I sent a donation to the Japanese Red Cross through the Japanese embassy here in Astana. Serendipitously, this past week I was scheduled to work as a volunteer at the local soup kitchen for the homeless in Kazakhstan. What a privilege it is to be able to contribute something in any capacity whatsoever to those in need!

  12. Hy Mary,
    I tell you in shortly form what i think about heroes: Everbody is a hero who is a passionate, loving human. Everybody, who have the courage to open his heart for all, without prejudices. Everybody is a hero who is simple a human being.
    rolf tschochohei´s last blog post ..Diary entry- Monday is done

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