Reading biographies is something I truly enjoy doing. I buy into the fantasy and believe these words just came flowing out of the authors mouth perfectly onto the paper. Ghost writers? What are those? I choose not look behind the curtain to see the main moving the levers and pushing the buttons. Reading about another’s journey and what got them to where they are today is very inspiring to me. I usually pick up something that lights my fire and keeps me going in a forward direction on my own journey. Usually these people have reached a level of expertise, celebrity or notoriety that would allow a biography to be written.
Every once in a while I come across a story that isn’t like this. The subjects aren’t famous. They haven’t climbed to the top of their field. They may not even have a field. They are simple people trying everyday to reach beyond their present circumstances. And their stories are every bit as compelling and inspiring, sometimes even more so, than those of the celebrated. Such was the case with a documentary I recently watched, Waiting for Superman. It’s been on my video cue for several months but I kept pushing frothier fare in front of it. But I found myself on a long flight and it was in my bag. And let me tell you, it was gripping. Several times tears were just streaming from my eyes. My heart was breaking for these kids. If you haven’t watched it, do yourself a huge favor and put in on your must watch list immediately. You’ll thank yourself. The struggle of parents to get a better education for their kids was heartbreaking. And when things didn’t turn out their way, they didn’t give up, they tried another route. Nothing was going to stop them from getting a better life for their kids than they had. And you know this is going on everyday, in every home, with single or dual parents, rich or poor, PHD’s or barely GED’s. Parents realize a good education is the ticket to success for their children and they were going to move heaven and earth to make it happen.
That single mindedness, resolve and quiet determination really hit home with me. It’s so easy to point to the celebrity or sport elite for inspiration but the real heroes are those that just keep plugging away, day after day in their anonymity, doing the best they can with what life throws their way. They are real heroes.