In search of heroes

Published November 21, 2013

By Tom Campbell

by Tom Campbell, Executive Producer and Moderator of NC SPIN, November 21, 2013.

The very fact that we don’t have to use a descriptive phrase to identify him is but further proof that Dean Smith is a hero. Not just because he was awarded the Medal of Freedom but because he won our respect and adoration. Dean did it right. To be sure he won basketball games but the way he did it was what revered him to North Carolina and the nation. He played by the rules, treated others respectfully, was innovative on the court and stood by his beliefs without judging you if you didn’t agree.

We need heroes today, people to respect, people to emulate. We want to believe that out of the ordinary someone will rise up, will change things and set them right, will show us the way. Sadly, we have few modern-day examples. In times past we tried making politicians, sports figures, business leaders and theologians our heroes but in far too many instances we found them flawed or disappointing.

Perhaps our hero expectations are unrealistic. To be sure there are a few Dean Smiths, ordinary people who rise to greatness, but truth be told there are heroes all around us and we don’t recognize them because we are so busy looking at those grabbing the headlines, scoring the points, making the big bucks.

Let’s start looking for the heroes around us…people we can applaud and respect, who personify the best qualities we admire. They don’t have to be Dean Smith. Chances are good you will find them in the least expected places doing the least recognized jobs with little expectation of recognition. They likely don’t think themselves a hero but be sure to tell them you think they are.

Looking for, finding and recognizing heroes might actually improve our lives.  Perhaps the hero in you can bring out the hero in me.