Hero or superhero

By Jan Demers

With a red “S” on a yellow field emblazoned across his muscular body, he was “faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”

Yes, it’s Superman, strange visitor from another planet who came to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Superman, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands, and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fights a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way, according to The Adventures of Superman.

Indeed, Superman is a superhero.

She was approximately 5 feet tall, inflicted with several disabling conditions and a slave. She escaped to freedom utilizing the help of others, an understated strength and an unusual faith, spending the rest of her life helping to secure freedom for others. She fought a never-ending battle for truth, justice and a better American way. Harriet Tubman was a freed slave, one of the greatest conductors of the Underground Railroad, a nurse, a cook, a union spy and one of the early leaders for women’s rights. She said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”

Harriet Tubman is my hero.

His life projected one track and he made another. We met him in 2007. He had no income and had been out of work for more than 15 weeks. He had credit card debt, car loan and poor credit. With some post-high school education, he took CVOEOs Growing Money course and worked with Simeon Geigel in our Micro Business Program. Working part time, he started his own Green Cleaning Services. He qualified for a small business loan and paid it off early. He paid off his car loan before the due date. He now has one full-time employee and two part-time employees. He received a prominent business award. He is working with others who are establishing their own cleaning businesses. That unselfish mentoring goes against the grain in business practice. Not holding on to trade secrets, he is sharing his success. He is modeling a better American way.

Mike Patch is our hero.

We celebrate the life of another great man and hero this month, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In thinking about his uncalculatable gifts to this world, I wondered who his hero was? I’m certain it wasn’t someone with super powers. He, like Harriet Tubman and Mike Patch, had a dream. “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood,” he dreamed. Perhaps that is the ultimate American way.

Heroes all.

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