Sometimes I think that despite my goals I just don’t have what it takes to make a difference. I think I’m not charismatic enough. Not fun enough. Not good enough. I blame my past and personality. I think being a hero is reserved to those with an amazing background and life.
And when I do, I think of Lizzie Velasquez.
Lizzie was born with a syndrome that impacts her body in ways most of us can’t even imagine.
“I think of it as a big slap of reality for a five year-old, because I went in to school the first day, decked-out in Pocahontas gear. I was ready! I went in with my backpack that looked like a turtle shell because it was bigger than me, and I walked up to a little girl and smiled at her, and she looked up at me like I was a monster, like I was the scariest thing she had ever seen in her life.”
It didn’t stop there.
When she was in highschool, a video of her went online. Comments below the video included:
“Lizzie, please – please – just do the world a favor, put a gun to your head, and kill yourself.”
I want to tell you her story, but there is absolutely no way I’ll do it as mesmerizingly as she does herself. So here it is:
The power of support
Now, Lizzie is an amazing motivational speaker. One of the best examples of reaching one’s goals despite odds.
She is a hero, overcoming all challenges and now inspiring thousands of others.
But I believe there’s more to this story.
It’s Lizzie saying:
“I have an amazing support system around me,who never pity me, who are there to pick me up if I’m sad, who are there to laugh with me during the good times, and they taught me that, even though I have this syndrome, even though things are hard, I can’t let that define me.”
Did that help her get where she is today? I bet it did.
Who could have imagined that offering Lizzie the support she needed would help her become the hero she is today?
And isn’t helping someone else become the hero they can be an act of heroism in itself?
Sometimes, that’s all it takes to be a hero. Making a difference in just one life.
Heroism is contagious. It spreads.
We’re heading for the weekend and I hope yours is going to be a blast. But maybe you have a close friend, relative or coworker who – you know – is struggling at life. And if you do… maybe you can find a way to be a hero for them. To make a small difference. So that one day, they will find their inner strength to become a hero for many others.