Are There Still Heroes Among Us?

If you think you still have your Robin Hood in town, think again. But when calamities strike, choose who you will call: cops or crooks. 

I choose the cops.

A few years ago, our house was once robbed. Our friendly cops came immediately to investigate it. Forced entry. Scattered belongings. Monies and pieces of jewelry gone. Smudge. No clear fingerprints.

We agreed to give ourselves 48 hours to solve the problem. We only have one witness and lead. In less than two days, BCPO Station 4 delivered the results. Case solved. Case closed.

1. Redefine Who the Real Heroes Are.

Real heroes are not all dead. I have interviewed and talked to some of the bravest in the PNP. Brave men who came out alive at the SAF 44 tragedy, like Adolfo Andrada and Joselito Manaar Jr. of the PNP Special Action Force were some of them.

These men of valor know what it means to have courage under fire. While there are those who gave their lives to serve and protect us against threats, foreign and domestic, many of these finest heroes walk tall today.

Real heroes are not front-pagers. But they are often in the front lines. 

Unlike most of the front pages of the news today, visibility does not usually mean integrity. In fact, what I’m praying for is that the PNP would be spared from being used as a tool for bad governance. For that means lives–many lives–would be at stake.

2. Remake Authentic Heroes.

True leaders are made in crises, but mind you, fake leaders exploit predicaments also. We are now seeing the fact that there are those who pose as heroes but are actually traitors. 

The previous events showed bogus ones—leaders who are only good on posing for pictures and media hypes. They are not actually helpers but hustlers in profiting out of the situation.

Reports of show-offs, insincere, and shams are now in the free internet. In fact, big time players are now showing their true colors.

Those who faithfully served our country are seeing some impending threats to our democracy. 

3. Remember Our Heroes and What They Fought For.

Only a fool would die for a lie. Perhaps that person is a lunatic. Real heroes, however, are willing to stand for the truth, even if it will cause them their lives.

But some are dying for attention and power struggle. Do you remember the Yolanda tragedy? Relief operations are great in helping people. But heroic actions can also be a vast conspiracy of kindness. 

There were leaders who appeared to be helpful but were actually political animals. Sadly, there were still questions on the reports of cash aids diverted and undelivered donations in that particular tragedy. To some extent, these are no longer rumors. 

It seems that cameras are for cash; sometimes, even missionaries and coordinators used the same style. For people to buy the news and appeal to the masses collective emotion, sensationalizing is logical—but not necessarily always right. Newspapers do this to sell news.

That is why handling critical events and true information requires integrity.

The plumb-line between right motive and vested interest is slim. Only the fruit will tell if the act is genuine. So news (including pictures) must be delivered in truth, not for profit—and documentations for accountability.

My kind of heroes, though, is not image-conscious. They respond in times of trouble. Their presence is not driven by misguided politics, mere curiosity or hypocrisy. I call them “the Corneilus of our times,” our centurions of freedom.

Some were under order by governing authorities, but many were compelled to stand and help. Some gave meals, reliefs, goods, cash, and the like; they simply acted without strings attached.

A leader who only cares for position (or promotions!) rather than function is no leader at all. 

We must applaud our ordinary heroes. They promote a culture of compassion, courage, and character. They gave resources and empower people. Thiers were not only rescuing people in need but redemption.

Real heroes inspire transformation. They are the people you knew who were there in times of need. They are life-giving to others.

How about you? How do you define your kind of heroes? 

Glenn Plastina (c) 2017

The original material of this article was taken from my column LifeCoach and is entitled “Heroes Among Us” in the Upnorth Tribune newspaper.

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