I must admit that I stole the theme of today’s post from a bumper sticker someone described to me at a seminar last November. This particular bumper sticker reads “Be the person your dog thinks you are.” While the phrase elicits a chuckle, its implications resonates a little deeper.
During the holidays I found myself cashing in on the rare opportunity to park on the couch, and listen to a few of my favorite films. Yesterday, I watched all three of Christopher Nolan’s new versions of “Batman.” I felt silly, but I know I wasn’t alone when I found myself getting goosebumps throughout certain moments of the series. These three films were among the most popular and highest grossing films of all time. As I thought about this, I realized how universal it is to want a hero to look up to. We all want someone to show us the way, how to be good, how to overcome our fears, and how to live with virtue. We all need someone to encourage us to live for something bigger than ourselves, and that it is possible to suppress the agents of evil and mitigate their influence. I have to believe our desire and search for a hero stems from our deep rooted fear of uncertainty. We don’t like to be alone in the dark, and we don’t like not knowing what lies in front of us.
We can’t all look elsewhere for a hero, though. If we all point the finger, and wait for someone else to take the lead, we’ll never get anywhere. At some point or another we all have to look within for the hero we can be when we leave behind those fears. We all have a hero inside who can light the torch for another, to reach out and grab the hand of the timid or less capable souls, and pave the way to a better and more prosperous future.
We live in a time with an abundance of fear and uncertainty. Times are tough, and few if any know the right answers… We keep looking for a hero to save us, to tell us it will be ok, and show us how to move forward; But only in the movies do the heroes wear capes and masks. In the real world heroes come in all shapes and sizes. In the real world you don’t need super powers, a plethora of money, or extra-terrestrial origins to be a hero, all you need is a decision. A decision to live with virtue, to set the example, and the decision to be a hero for someone.
Every one of us has someone who looks up to us; Our siblings, our children, our peers, and especially our pets. Our dogs don’t care about the economy, they won’t weigh in on gun laws, and they could care less who the Speaker of the House is. To them YOU are the Speaker of the House, and they love you for it! Be the hero you have inside, be the hero you want to be, and be the hero your dog thinks you are!