You see them every day. You may not realize it, or stop to think about it, or pause to appreciate them, but you do see them all the time. Heroes, everyday heroes. People who do their jobs well, to the best of their ability, do a favor anonymously with no expectation of return, pay their taxes, vote their conscience not their fears, love their spouse and kids, pay their bills on time, stop to let a stranger turn in front of them in traffic….

These people, these ordinary people who make the world run, your neighbors and mine, they are heroes.

A friend of mine, a business associate of many years, came to mind the other day. For some reason I paused to reflect upon him and realized that I regard him highly. I trust him, more so than most. He is a straight shooter, a kind and gentle man who seems to take genuine pleasure in helping his clients. I realized that to me, he is the epitome of an everyday hero.

We may not all be able to win Olympic medals, a Nobel Peace Prize, medals of honor, or single-handedly solve the energy crisis or cure cancer. But we all can aspire to be everyday heroes, and I think that is a pretty wonderful thing.

The next time you realize you are in the presence of an everyday hero, an ordinary person doing the very best she knows how, walk up to her and tell her that she’s pretty terrific, that you noticed her efforts, and you appreciate her. Do that, and you will have taken a significant step toward being an everyday hero yourself.

This is a classic from the NSCBlog archive, originally posted May 14, 2008.