Here’s To My Heroes!

Does “award season” lasts all year now? It feels like there’s an onslaught of award shows (Oscars, Academy Awards, Screen Actors Guild, Grammys, Tonys, CMA, MTV, and the EIEIO…okay, I made that one up) that lift up America’s most famous people as if there were heroes.

After the last year (for almost everyone on the globe) due to COVID isolation, and many trying to “drive” to the end of the internet, a little entertainment isn’t the worst idea. But I am not a fan of making idols out of celebrities and music stars, that for many are now the center of the universe.

To act well or compose and perform a beautiful song takes talent, no doubt. But we’re in need of heroes of a different kind. Those who have determination, character, ethics, courage and are motivated by their faith to do what is right, and not what makes them feel good or happy. Here are a few of my heroes, particularly this past 15 months:

  • Teachers – I’m thinking specifically of my daughter and her husband (and of course many more like them). In March of 2020, they pivoted almost instantly to continue to bring the most vital resources on earth to their students. For months they lived on Zoom meetings, and recently in the classroom with extreme, needed safety protocol. Each day they strive with enormous creativity and unbelievable energy to provide quality, caring education.
  • Grandmothers – Specifically, my wife and thousands of other grandmothers, who stepped in and became a full-time daycare/school teacher as daycares, schools and businesses were forced to close, leaving parents without safe childcare options.
  • Pastors – like mine, who redesigned an entire system of doing ministry in a way that didn’t allow for any of the personal touches usually associated with ministry. Who, along with youth minsters and church musicians, did their best to bring worship and ministry experiences to their isolated community.
  • Healthcare Workers – My friend is an ER doctor at a large metro hospital. She describes her hospital like a “war zone” with a never-ending drum beat of emergencies, lack of resources, death, and mind-numbing experiences with some patients who are literally dying of an illness they deny exists. My friend and many other health care workers have worked tirelessly around the clock this last year to deal with an illness that was sadly, largely preventable.
  • Law Enforcement – To the ethical, brave and hard-working law enforcement officers (like my family members) who are confronted every day by people who are immediately cynical and nasty to them, and sometimes attempt to “bait” them to make them lose their composure trying to catch the incident on video. I acknowledge the very difficult societal circumstances they’re dealing with, and affirm their determination to stay the course of their vital calling.
  • Dads – To the Tender Lion dads who model for their sons (and daughters) a way of being and doing that is tough and tender, strong and soft, and leading and listening. And to the dads who are faithful – to their families, their word, their work, their communities, their country regardless of political leanings. And here’s to the dads who pray with and for their children regardless of their faults and challenges, and never gives up on them or his relationship with them. Because raising a son to be a man is too important to leave to chance.

I would love to see the day when real heroes like the Nobel Peace Prize, the Pulitzer Prize and the Medal of Honor recipients are lifted up, praised and shown on prime-time television, and given the honor and respect they deserve. Let’s do our best to hold a perspective that honors and lifts up those who really strengthen the fabric of our society.


#Tenderlions #tenderlionsbook #faith #family #fathers #fatherandson #courage #integrity #ethics #loveyourneighbor #loveistheanswer

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Many of these blog entries are edited excerpts from Tender Lions: Building the Vital Relationship Between Father and Son

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