I’m rarely impressed by the rich and famous. I don’t care when Kim and Kanye’s next baby or next fight is due and I’m not all that worried about whether or not What’s Her Name will return for next season or if she’ll get killed off in the last episode of this season. There are several actors, musicians, performers and even a couple of politicians that I respect but I do not live my life through their accomplishments, escapades, peccadilloes, fiascos or Fritos. I think celebrity worship is frequently wasteful and generally distasteful. Some people talk about the rich and famous as if they are personally connected and mutually invested in one another. As for me, I don’t even really care one way or the other who wins the Super Bowl.
What I do care about, what does concern and impress me are the ordinary people I know who bear up under the toughest licks of life and yet continue to live their lives. The current Flavor of the Week breaks a nail or gets into a fight or has to give her Shih Tzu up for adoption on some ludicrous “reality show” (now there’s an oxymoron for you) and five million fans plus the Flavor act as if it will take a million dollars’ worth of meds along with an entire squadron of counselors and interventionists to get Flavor safely to next week’s show.
In quite different fashion, these common folk endure the most hell-awful tragedies and yet continue to love their families, work their jobs, tend their farms and help their neighbors. “Just part of it,” they shrug and bend their shoulder back to the wheel. They cry for their lost loved ones, they feel the keen pain of grief and they have their times of night’s black sorrow, sometimes in the middle of the afternoon. But they keep on, putting one foot in front of the other and pushing it toward the next day, the next hour, the next step.
I admire their spirit, their heart, their determination, their lack of pretension, their ruggedness, their persistence, their devout stubbornness for life. Another thing that I admire about them is that it would never occur to them that they’re doing anything that anyone would even notice, much less admire. They are full well aware of their own frailties, their own shortcomings, their own bad habits and maybe even a vice or two. But they have no idea how special it is that they continue to go about earning their daily bread, finishing their chores, caring for their families, doing the same ole same ole day after day after day.
They carry their own loads and help others with theirs. They do not curse the darkness nor rail against the injustice of their lives. They simply live them.
They are my heroes.