Looking for heroes
As young children, it is next to effortless to have heroes. We are naïve enough to believe that anyone with a cape can really fly and solve all our problems in a heartbeat.
But as we get older, it becomes increasingly difficult to have someone we can truly look up to. Superman, after all, is a fictional character.
In spite of that, real heroes do exist – even in our everyday lives.
The heroes we admire as adults are often real people who, in quietly living their lives, do remarkable things or exhibit enviable traits.
The late and great Stan Musial is a shining paradigm of what we can easily define as a bona fide hero.
Not only regarded by many as the greatest St. Louis Cardinal in history with 22 baseball seasons under his belt, “Stan the Man,” also was known for his humanity.
Notorious for his sportsmanship and modesty, the iconic No. 6 was actively engaged in local charitable work in the St. Louis community, including organizations such as the USO, Senior Olympics, Boy Scouts, Covenant House and Cardinals Care.
As the story goes, Stan even moved from his condo into a motel during spring training one season to show his unity and support for his African-American teammates. And he missed the entire 1945 season to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Stan was honored for his humanitarian efforts with Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year Award and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1957, three National League MVP Awards, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the nation’s highest civilian honor by the U.S. government – for his contributions to society.
But perhaps Stan was honored most and at his best with kids who were too young to remember his legendary baseball days.
At first meeting, kids might wonder, “How could this old man be a Cardinal?”
In his own, quiet way – and often in front of star-struck parents – Stan answered that question. He always had a pocket of signed Stan the Man cards not baseball cards, but more of an “about me” card, roughly the size of a post card and signed by The Man.
When he met children, at one of his frequent children’s hospital stops or out in everyday life, he’d hand out those cards – and the story of Stan was passed on.
As great as he was, Stan is only one of many local individuals who stand out among the crowd and lead by example.
We all know someone who matches that description, and we want to chronicle those stories.
We encourage you to tell us who your heroes are – to share the story of someone you know who is doing remarkable, stunning, extraordinary things in your community.
These heroes do not need to be famous for their efforts, but their accomplishments should undeniably merit praise and recognition.
We also want to know about people who are just downright interesting, individuals with unique collections, talents and hobbies – or those people who have careers that evoke wonder.
Perhaps the neighbor next door is a scientist conducting leading-edge cancer research and coaching Little League on the weekends. Or maybe you know one of the ancestors of a family who homesteaded West County.
Great stories exist, sometimes hidden in our midst. Perhaps together we can find them and spark some inspiration.
Every day, we are bombarded with stories that take away hope and make us question what people are thinking.
Let’s swing the conversation in a different direction.
Let’s start to concentrate on the good happening in our own backyards. Let’s begin celebrating people we are proud to know and who we want our children to look up to.
Let’s share a little good news.
We want to hear from you!
Send your story suggestions to:
West Newsmagazine: email@example.com
Mid Rivers Newsmagazine: firstname.lastname@example.org