Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Who's Your Hero?

As a young girl, Sir Edmund Hillary was on my A-list of super heroes. I mean, how many people do you know who've climbed Mt. Everest and traversed both the north and south poles? Extraordinary! Such accomplishments keep him cemented in our memories as one of history's eminent mountaineers and explores.
“I have been seriously afraid at times but have used my fear as a stimulating factor rather than allowing it to paralyze me. My abilities have not been outstanding, but I have had sufficient strength and determination to meet my challenges and have usually managed to succeed with them.” ~Edmund Hillary, View from the Summit: The Remarkable Memoir by the First Person to Conquer Everest
These days I look at Hillary with a new admiration. Absolutely the accomplishments of his expeditions remain impressive. What touches my spirit now is his philosophic approach to life and his belief that everyday people can do great things.  

Hillary was rather humble about his conquering the mountain. He said, "I was just an average bloke. It was the media that tried to transform me into a heroic figure. But I've learned through the years, as long as you don't believe all that rubbish about yourself, you can't come to too much harm."

He did realize the commercial value of his achievement. But, rather that promoting himself and his accomplishments, he used his fame to the advantage of those less fortunate. He devoted much of his time to the needs of the people of Khumbu by helping them to build schools, hospitals, and bridges.

Admire him for his incredible physical accomplishments. Wonder at his perseverance and ability to master the mountain and the elements. However, to me he's a hero because of what he did with the power of his influence. To be that kind of a hero, well, that's something to aspire to, don't you think?