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Unsung Hero: Livng a Life For Others

Joined: 7/17/2013
Posts: 10
Do not mock the man on the street in the too-long overalls; had the situation been different, his inner worth may have surprised you. Never judge anyone whose heart you have not thoroughly understood. For hidden amongst your family and friends, hidden within those strangers on the street, heroes live. They are waiting. Tragedy is when the heroes are revealed within those you may have thought of as only average.

I met a hero once. She was a woman, fifty something years old. Her name was Margaret. She had moved from her beautiful homeland of Poland to the United States, to a not so fancy house and backyard cluttered with obnoxious wild chickens. She spends her time taking care of disabled elderly persons while cracking rather grim jokes. I can still hear her voice, fused with a rhythmic Slavic accent:

“You are not dead yet, no? Until you are dead you are gonna eat this…”

 I used to wonder why in the world she had done it? Why had Margaret traveled thousands of miles to settle in a strange land? To change diapers? To cook and eat prescribed meals for diabetics? It puzzled me until I heard her story.

“You never know how thirty minutes could change your life.”

Her husband’s life work had burned in an unexpected warehouse fire. Thousands of dollars worth of hand carved furniture, not to mention the tools, dreams, and passions that make an artist, dissolved in the flames.

“After that, my husband went to sleep for two years.”

 So what did she do? Moved him away and went back to college. She earned a certificate and opened a foster home. Twenty years later she is still changing diapers and comforting the weeping cries of WWII veterans in the middle of the night. Twenty years later she is still cracking morbid jokes and smiling (at least twice a day). Every day she cares for her patients with the same vigor and love with which she cares for husband and children.

Margaret is the type of person that encourages you to go on. Though she may not be a fountain constantly overflowing with profound advice, her life, her pudgy feet plodding through each day, her tasteless food served right on time, are all encouragements far beyond what pen can write or words can say.

Margaret is a hero to me because she is one who helps me turn away from my silly worthless cares and turn to what really matters in life. Day by day, she constantly places the happiness of others above the happiness of herself.

As you walk down the street of life, many heroes will cross your path. Not everyone is a hero, but a hero can be anyone. Some will be manifested to you, and you will appreciate their worth. You may catch a genuine smile and day brightening comment or witness a life changing sacrifice. Or you may simply pass them by. Smile and believe - they just might be a hero.
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would like to congratulate you for your Unsung Hero essay being selected as one of our top 10 teen essays for our January writing contest.

To view all the results of our January 2015 contest, please check our winners page on or after February 28th:

Our editors are voting on the winners and we will have our results completed by Thursday.

Thanks for adding your voice to our mission “Changing the World . . . One Story at a Time” and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs Co-Founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 2:44:52 PM
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Comment by thiegsr

Joined: 11/6/2008
Posts: 702
We have tallied our results and your essay is a Runner up in our January 2015 Unsung Hero teen writing contest. You should be very proud of your accomplishment.

Thanks for sharing your story on and feel free to share your accomplishment with the world.

Rebecca Thiegs
Stageoflife Co-founder and Education Consultant
Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 6:50:08 PM
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