3 World Heroes And 1 Reason Why

Heroes. A hero is a concept that spans the ages, all the world, and any point of view you can throw at it.

During my 50 very odd years on this planet I've learned that there are hero shots, hero models, heroes from mythology and local heroes that make a tiny difference to those around and blush quietly on TV when they are celebrated.

For me heroes are those that I have grown up with, that I can't imagine a world without and, when they die leave my world a little darker by their absence. Not just darker though, but also a little more "progressed" because of their life and what they did with it. What these heroes do is almost invariably change something deep within me.

Some people can get a little squishy and gooey on the inside, and a lot squeaky and red on the outside when they meet or talk about their heroes. The overwhelming feeling I get when I meet or remember mine is of gratitude. I know that, without them, I would be a smaller person living in a beige world and for not being that I am grateful to them.

Liz Riversdale knows who she is, or rather, as Liz would spell it, "She nos who she is".
That's not to say she has had everything sorted since day one and is a centre of calm and peace. But that's the thing, she knows that and is always looking to learn, grow, evolve and make a difference.

And that's why she wants to constantly "be better", to ensure she can leave this world having made a difference - it's a drive that constantly has me in awe. Liz wants (in fact, knows no other way but) to make a difference to each individual she meets, be that professionally or otherwise. She interacts with everyone in a way that leaves them more insightful, with a crack in their ancient armour, and with more hope that they too can lead a life that makes a difference..

Liz has no big, sweeping change-the-world ideals like some I could mention (me!), but a steady drip, drip, drip of change in every interaction with every person be that the checkout person, her kids, a client, her husband or the Uber driver. Everyone gets a little bit of Liz.

For doing what she does, each and every day with the people she meets, she is my hero.

Ever since I realised that Spike Milligan was not only a member of the Goons, a Sunday afternoon regular on the radio when I was growing up, but also wrote every episode, I was astounded by the comic inventiveness that came out of his one brain. It's this outpouring of creativity that has always had me look at pictures of Spike and be in awe.

It cost Spike a lot, "It was driving me mad. I had a nervous breakdown. It's like a roaring pain. The loudest pain you'll ever get." and whilst I don't subscribe to the "creative = mad" or even the "drugs = creative" viewpoints I do think that there is, in some people, a drive to DO. Unfortunately this drive can sometimes be akin to a car racing down a hull without brakes ... there's always a crash.

“So what?” you’re thinking: he wrote a few funny radio plays, a couple of comical and poignant war memoirs, and letters to everyone ever. “So what? Hah!”He did those things like NO-ONE had ever done before. Like NO-ONE ever.

And for showing us the world can change on a dime, he is a hero (much like Peter Cook btw).

So who's the final hero in my list of three? ... It's you! Tacky? Yeah, a little bit. And heck, I may not even know you but I reckon you'd be a hero of mine pretty bloody quickly.

How can I be so sure? Well, I've met a shit tonne of people in my life and to date, not one hasn't astounded me in ways I can only imagine at. You will have an amazing story, things you do that no-one else does and a worldview that is unique. You can likely change the world if you want to.

Seriously. Every time I sit down and chat with someone over a beer, over the Internet, over a series of events or just over the table, I always walk away a changed person and that makes you a hero in my eyes.

So what's the one reason these three people are my heroes? They did or do stuff - they are active in changing the world around them and, either through a drive deep inside or from a learnt place they won't or can't stop doing what they do.

Talk is fine. But remember, to do.


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