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  • Writer's pictureSchwartzen "Shway" Precil

The Call to Nontraditional Heroes

With the media constantly highlighting the horrifying events that take place around the globe, I ask myself "is the world I'm given what I leave to the next generation?"

Nontraditional problems need nontraditional heroes

Recently, I woke up to a headline on my phone that read "Olympic hero's brother charged with triple murder." I opened my phone to see a 'not so happy' photo of Simone Biles and her brother's photo side by side. I liked the fact that they mentioned "hero" in the headline, but by the looks of the photo, they did not portray Simone's heroic side.

As a 90's baby, I grew up during the technology boom in the early 2000's. Students had flip phones in middle school not the smartphones we have today. I remember a time when I did not wake up to news alerts, messages, or articles that swarmed me before I lifted my head off the pillow. Today, even when you turn the alerts off, the negative content still flows through the phone and into the home.

“When the youth and my team of staff look to me, I look back and respond, here's what we're going to do...'"

In my younger days of living in New York City, it was hard to be naive, but I was a child. Someone's gotta do something about this mess. I used to tell myself that up until the point where I realized no one will actually do anything about my crisis.

As a 25-year-old Director at a youth community center, I oversee over 80+ underprivileged youth along with 15 staff that look to me in moments of crisis.Naive thinking is no longer an option.

I could only imagine how the face of an Olympic hero, Simone Biles, looked when she saw a picture of her brother's mugshot right next to her photo. What image is the media portraying when they created that article?

"Someone's gotta do something," is the natural response when things go wrong. When the youth and my team of staff look to me, I look to them and respond, "here's what we're going to do..." It changes the nature of the question from "WHO" and turns it into "YOU."

Respond to the call to action

Unless you have small children, you can only burden someone else's responsibility for so long. You have your own to carry. I am sure most know this but your grades, business, health, self-care, and overall quality of life is your personal responsibility. It does not automatically become responsibility after you turn 18. Things have always been on you, some of us were just unaware.

One of the most challenging things you can do is help others before help yourself. There is a reason as to why flight attendants tell you to first put on your oxygen mask before you help anybody else's with theirs.

A traditional hero is defined as "a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities." I view nontraditional heroes as those who do not get the recognition for the outstanding achievements that the traditional heroes receive. Those who decide to answer the calling of a "nontraditional hero" feel a sense of responsibility to the greater good. I wonder if Simone Biles felt a sense of responsibility to her brothers actions.

If she's anything like me, she battles the urge to take on more than what is expected. Why? Sometimes we want to feel purposeful. For me, I believe the need to grow forces me to challenge myself. It often harms my mental health. I remind myself of the expression "you can lead the horse to water, but you can't make them drink." A horse may drink on their own if it thirsts for water.

There's no secret that the over stimulating negative broadcasting in the media has placed fear in people. Simone Biles is more than an Olympic hero, she is an African-American Olympic Hero. That makes her a "nontraditional hero." What is the world coming to?

My kids and staff look to me because they know I am an individual that is willing to take action, not because I am supposed to. Glenn Oakley is a man who did not allow fear to stop him when saving several children during the El Paso Texas Walmart shooting only a few weeks ago.

Glenn Oakley is the example that within each individual lies the answer we seek to solve the problems in the world. We first must look to ourselves.

I tell the youth of the community center that "I do what I can to be responsible for the leadership within this community, you have the responsibility to lead your life by example through your actions." (#BeYourOwnHero #Leadership #HeartbeatofHeros)

This blog is in recognition to Glenn Oakley who pulled children to safety during a mass shooting in El Paso Texas

Glenn Oakley spoke on national television stating "I was not worried about saving myself. I only wanted to get to the kids safely."

This blog is owned and under copyright laws and of the Be Your Own Hero authorization.

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