Who are the Heroes?

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404

Maybe it's just me, but it seems as though our current culture is faced with a very stated, pronounced shortage of heroes these days. About the only heroes we encounter are the ones relentlessly filling up the big screen, ad nauseam. So perhaps heroes aren't real? Maybe they're only a fantasy conjured up in our minds, or the subject of comic book figures brought to life by costly Hollywood blockbusters?

How do we define a hero? What actions or behaviors constitute heroism? Are such accolades reserved only for wartime service? Devoted first-responders?

Webster's offers the following:

he-ro (noun) 1. a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements,

or noble qualities.

I think back over my own life, and I ask the question, who have been 'my' heroes? While both my paternal Father and Step-Dad both had their individual redeeming qualities, I don't consider either one of them hero material. My real Dad was obsessed with status, wealth, and possessions. My step-Dad liked drinking.

Heroes aren't concerned about recognition . They don't advertise their accomplishments. They perform their deeds unselfishly, without notice or fanfare. It's never about them. Their focus is always on the welfare and benefit of others.

Maybe that's the problem. Our society, for the most part, has a penchant towards narcissism. We're always working an angle, wondering, what's in it for me? How can I benefit? Does it make me look cool? Life becomes an endless 'selfie.'

So few are genuinely and authentically concerned about  the needs of others, of serving without the thought of reward or recognition.

I have had two heroes in my life. The first one I encountered while serving as a sailor on a submarine in the US Navy. We were home-ported in Pearl Harbor HI. For the first two years of my enlistment, I had played sailor, indulging in all the activities one typically associates with being a 'swabbie,' less the tattoos. But while in Hawaii, I began to revisit a faith in God I had discovered back in high school. I started attending church again, and ended up at First Baptist Church of Honolulu, where I met the Associate Paster, Glenn Connell. 

For the next several years, Glenn poured his life into mine. He invested in me. He encouraged and discipled me. Those memorable years on Oahu will always be some of the most powerful and formative.

Glenn went on to pastor churches in Tempe and Yuma AZ, and recently retired. Admirable outstanding achievements? Over 40 years of faithful ministry. Noble qualities? Lovingly devoted to his wife, Lynora, for 45 years! Though Glenn never pastored a big mega-church, or authored a best-selling book on how to be the best or better, he just quietly and consistently poured out his life and love for Jesus into people like me, and countless others, having untold impact in the lives of so many! That's a hero!

My second hero resulted from my marriage to Janice. Her Dad, Don Munson, is a man of very few words. But when he speaks, it's always with quips and quotes chock full of seasoned wisdom. Sayings like "This too shall pass" and "If you got it now, you wouldn't have it to look forward too!" or my personal favorite, "Have a better breakfast, have a better day!"

Don grew up on a farm in upper State New York, and recounts his childhood duties of milking cows and shoveling manure every morning before walking 10 miles in the snow to school! (Well, maybe not 10 miles in the snow, but you get my drift)

When I first met Don, he was the Branch Manager for the Kirsch Company warehouse in the Bay Area. For most of his adult life, he had been in various capacities of leadership in his local church - a Sunday School Teacher, a Deacon, an Elder, etc.

You've heard the saying, "He has the patience of Job?" Well, that is Don, but on steroids! I've never met anyone with a more gentle, sweet, kind spirit than Don Munson. He never ever loses his temper, or is short, or says anything even remotely critical about anyone. You read about the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians Chapter 5, but you can see it in action and by example in Don's life, and by the way he treats others. He's not perfect, mind you. He doesn't like spicy food. He watches way too many westerns and Gunsmoke reruns. But he's the closest to perfect I've ever known!

I wonder, if someday, one of my own kids might ponder such similar thoughts. Would they consider me to be hero material? Probably not. Too many character flaws. Impatient. Well-intentioned, for sure, but lacking execution and consistency.

I can only hope that they too will have the good fortune I've had, of knowing Godly heroes like Glenn and Don, and be encouraged to become a hero themselves to their kids!

Lord knows we desperately need more heroes!

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Rich Jacobson is a REALTOR® and licensed Broker with Fathom Realty. He's a Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, skilffuly vanquishing anything in a shell! He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.

Comments (15)

James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Rich.

No doubt about it my hero was my dad.  Even with his faults for me, he will always be on a pedestal

Jul 17, 2019 02:47 AM
Rich Jacobson

You're very fortunate to have a Dad who was your hero! See ya in Nashville, my friend!

Jul 22, 2019 09:23 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Rich,
Very thought provoking post. 

Sometimes I think the terms heroes and angels are synonymous.  Personally, I believe in angels on Earth and I've had a few of those in my life. They weren't perfect people but they were there when I needed them.  I'd like to think, with all my faults, I have been an angel to someone... or maybe several someones.  I also see many others serving as "angels on earth" in various capacities. 

Jul 17, 2019 05:11 AM
Rich Jacobson

Hiya, Carol! How's tricks in Wenatchee? Yes, Angels for sure. Very similar indeed!

Jul 22, 2019 09:22 PM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Rich. My hero was my Dad, but his importance was not known until a later age. Enjoy your day 

Jul 17, 2019 05:19 AM
Rich Jacobson

Hey, Wayne! Sometimes, we don't appreciated our heroes until we're much older and wiser!

Jul 22, 2019 09:21 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

We do need heroes and I think they are among us. They are in the background, quiet, people like your father-in-law and the pastor on Oahu. We often don't hear about them (although CBS's "On the Road with Steve Hartman" introduces us to some.)

Jul 17, 2019 07:02 AM
Rich Jacobson

Lottie, thank you for your thoughtful comment! They are all around us, they just don't like to draw attention to themselves!


Jul 22, 2019 09:21 PM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Heroes are all around us - but like you said, they don't need recognition. My heroes were both my parents who fought bravely in WWII as underground fighters for their country. 

But heroes don't always have to fight wars as you explained so well with your father-in-law. Heroes are all around us, we just don't always know it.

Jul 17, 2019 03:23 PM
Rich Jacobson

Hey, Margaret! Sounds like your folks were amazing examples, and fighting in the Underground!! You must be so very proud!

Jul 22, 2019 09:20 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Rich- I suppose Jack Bauer ("24") doesn't count. Your post made me stop and think and I would have to count a dear friend whom we lost several years ago. He was giving to all and a devoted father. When we moved to Florida he and his family became our extended family. As a testament to this,  not a day goes by that we don't think of him. 

Jul 17, 2019 08:09 PM
Rich Jacobson

Thanks for 'Featuring' my article, Kathy! Jack Bauer, indeed! Those were good times, back in the day!


Jul 22, 2019 09:19 PM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


Jul 20, 2019 09:46 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great post! I can see why Kathy chose to highlight it this week!

Jul 21, 2019 06:46 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Rich Jacobson -  we do need more heros.  My hero was my dad and also my mother.  I strive to be that for my children.

Jul 21, 2019 07:11 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

My dad, who passed last September, was my hero. A strong, warm-hearted, and fiercely ethical man who always let us know how much he loved us. I miss him everyday. He was also in law enforcement and spent many years putting his life on the line. 

Jul 21, 2019 07:49 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Hello Rich Jacobson  what a great post and so on the mark. Just happened to find this and so glad I did. Hero's ?? Noble qualities?  Ask these questions to some people today if they are willing to pick up their heads from their smart phones. Don't get me started.Admirable,enjoyable and just what I needed post.

Jul 22, 2019 07:09 PM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Hannah Williams Your comments always bring a HUGE smile to my face! Thanks for your kind thoughts!

Jul 22, 2019 08:41 PM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD Sounds like your Dad was quite the hero. Our First-Responders, especially law enforcement, are so under-appreciated these days! Nice to know someone from Camas, if I ever have a referral down that way!


Jul 22, 2019 08:44 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

Back at you, Rich. D

Jul 23, 2019 09:39 AM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR® Thanks for your kind comment! I've been to Waukesha! Great community!

Jul 22, 2019 08:45 PM
Rich Jacobson
Fathom Realty West Sound - Poulsbo, WA
Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker

Grant Schneider Thanks for stopping by! We always lead by example, and it's helpful to have examples that went before us, as obviously you have had!


Jul 22, 2019 08:46 PM