The Unsung Hero – Is YOU.
This article was sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001. www.massmutual.com All opinions are those of the author.
It’s always inspiring to read stories about the unsung hero. Who are they? They might be your local firefighter or police officer. They might be a teacher or coach who goes the extra mile to build self-confidence in a child. Or maybe it’s you, quietly giving of yourself, not because someone is watching or paying you, but just because. A few things are certain: we need to lift each other up, we need to support each other, we need to be kind to one another, we need to empower women.
Humans are not solitary creatures. That we are better together is part of our genetic makeup. But too often, we under appreciate ourselves and our contribution. We miss the difference that we make and the ripples we send out every day. That’s why, from time to time, I like to remind the Ms Career Girl readers that they are heroes more often than they recognize.
March is Women’s History Month, and you’ve no doubt seen a few articles honoring the achievements of great women from all around the world. It’s important to recognize women, support women, and empower women. Indeed, where would we be without the heroic contributions of women like Marie Curie and Mother Teresa? Even so, remember that we’re all part of the human tapestry, and every link that’s woven matters.
Overlooked, unnoticed – or not?
In today’s world of spectacle and performances that dazzle, of viral posts and breaking news, it’s easy to think that the simple kind gesture or inspiring post you shared on social media doesn’t matter. No one notices. It gets only one “like,” or none.
A good reality check is to remember that the average published book only sells about 3,000 copies in its entire lifetime in print. While it’s great to become a best selling author, most authors don’t write for profit. They write because of the passion within themselves. And they feel validated if they reach, touch, or inspire even a handful of readers.
I used to worry that while some posts on Ms Career Girl get two or three thousand reads, many get only a few hundred. But getting just one single email of gratitude from a reader makes it all worthwhile. Nothing compares to that feeling of knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life. So my perspective now is much more like the story, true or not, of the little child and the starfish. I cannot save everyone . . . but I made a difference for that one.
The One Who Made A Difference For Me
It was just a little over four years ago that my mother had a massive stroke. Of course we were close as mom and daughter. But we were exceptionally close, and in many ways she was my best friend. As days passed into weeks and weeks into months, the emotional drain of trying to manage her affairs and make life decisions for and with her mounted.
When the day came that the physical therapist told us in an all-too clinical fashion that there was nothing more they could do, we were devastated. Having dealt with anxiety for most of my life, I was experiencing panic that I’d rarely felt before. I was unfamiliar with what few options were before us, none of which sounded even remotely workable or acceptable.
It was in that very instant that one of those unsung heroes appeared.
I don’t remember how she found us. I’m not even sure of the conversation. But I clearly remember the words – “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of everything and get you through this.” And she did. Taking charge in the most gentle and yet confident way, she put the pieces in place that would become the remainder of my mother’s life. We had cried over the previous two months many times, but these were tears of relief.
A superhero? Perhaps not in the eyes of the world. But to me she was the greatest of all. She was and still is my unsung hero because she recognized me, supported me, and empowered me.
You don’t have to do miracles, or create viral videos or posts, or get a million followers to change lives. You won’t even know you’re doing it when you say just the right thing, or lend a hand at just the right time, to the person who needs it. And that’s okay. Go right on being one of the silent angels, the unsung heroes that make this world a better place.
Find out more about what it means to live mutual and how MassMutual celebrates unsung heroes in our communities at https://www.massmutual.com/cm/theunsung