Capeless Wonder

Did you ever wonder if you would be brave enough to be a firefighter?  Well, last summer I met a bunch of volunteer firefighters and it wasn’t their bravery that impressed me.  As a matter of fact, not one of them struck me as a super hero.  Nobody wore a cape, or walked like John Wayne.  I didn’t see a single pair of expensive sunglasses among them.  Still there was something about them that at first I couldn’t put my finger on, then it hit me.  As I watched them interact, milling around like regular people, a feeling came over me that sort-of surprised me.  These people were so good at their job, that of protecting the community from raging wildfire and performing difficult rescues from every manner of  catastrophe, because they believed that they were simply doing what is right.  Somehow when you know you’re doing the right thing, doing it doesn’t seem heroic, it just seems normal, like brushing your teeth.  You just put the toothpaste on the brush and go for it.  And that is really the best kind of hero, the one who doesn’t realize he is a hero, the one who thinks that saving a home, or a life is part of a good day’s work.  But the rest of us know the truth.  There are heroes all around us.  They’re the ones in the big red trucks.

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