Weekly Thought – April 6, 2021
Fred included heroes as one of the critical categories for a healthy network. “We cannot live fully without heroes for they are the stars to guide us upward. Heroes are who we can become if we diligently pursue our ideals in the furnace of our opportunities.”
This week would you help us expand our Weekly Thought reach? Let others know about the value of Fred’s wisdom. We thank you.
Focused for Greatness
Defining the heroic quality is important in building a complete understanding of heroes. In You and Your Network I devoted to an entire chapter to the subject. Here are a few personal heroes who illustrate identifying character traits which in emulating, enrich my own life.
1) The Apostle Paul – total dedication personified. Oswald Chambers coined the phrase “the white funeral” describing the process of totally dying to himself. His “black funeral” occurred years later at the hands of Rome. Having never met him, I still feel I know him just from studying his writings. He says with assurance “this one thing I do.” He found his magnificent obsession, his lodestar, and the race to which he devoted his life. He ran with total focus.
2) Abraham Lincoln – combining strength and gentleness. He did his duty as he saw it even suffering great emotional strife while doing it. He didn’t seem to possess superior gifts, but a superior spirit that matched his opportunities. He was able to be flexible without sacrificing his values. He lacked personal happiness, but he had abiding joy.
3) Albert Einstein – humble intellect. Einstein is one of my personal heroes, not for his intellect, but for his humility. I love to look in his simple, childlike eyes and see the wonder and awe he obviously felt for life, the universe, and God. His humility was a natural state, not an acquired or disciplined accomplishment. Einstein seemed devoid of arrogance, self-centeredness, and conceit. These had been replaced by the ability to see his ignorance more than his knowledge resulting in gratitude.
4) Leonardo Da Vinci – relaxed acceptance. He saw life as a whole and was content to let it be. He didn’t mean campaigns to change anything. He understood the unifying principles of life – man’s relationship to science, art, music, mathematics, and philosophy. He never tried to manipulate truth, only to understand it. Because da Vinci thought in principles his mind could range indefinitely, creating sketchy ideas of such great magnitude it would take centuries before they were developed into useful applications. To me, he is an intellectual hero. His serenity is a personal reproach to our hurry, scurry, activist culture.
5) Abraham – vision and faith. He was willing to risk all on the unseen. He ventured into a relationship which became his reality. We need heroes to personify vision, for without it we settle for a plateaued life and experiences which are too limited.
6) Thomas Edison – persistence. It is reported he responded to a question about his 5,000 failures to develop the incandescent light bulb: “The important thing is I now know 5,000 things that do not work. That is not a failure.” There are times in our lives when we need someone to personify the will survive, the refusal to give up.
Heroes are the personification of our ideals, the embodiment of our highest values. A society writes its diary by naming its heroes. When we talk of our heroes we tell much about who we are, but also about who we will become.
This week think carefully about: 1) Who were my childhood heroes? 2) What heroic characteristics do I desire? 3) How can I encourage others around me to identify personal heroes?
Words of Wisdom: “Defining the heroic quality is important in building a complete understanding of heroes.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The LORD emerges like a hero, like a warrior he inspires himself for battle; he shouts, yes, he yells, he shows his enemies his power.” (Isaiah 42:13 NET Bible)