We all have them. I know that labeling people is not a popular thing to do, but these three labels should not get anyone’s bloomers in a knot. After all, these are all very complimentary.
Hero – 1: a mythological or legendary figure of great strength or ability 2: a man [or woman – heroine] admired for his [her] achievements and qualities 3: the chief male character in a literary or dramatic work. Did you notice how I stuck the female into that definition? That is in keeping with my last post entitled, “Me and the Girls.” However, I would like to expand the definition to include those persons I know, or knew, who are willing to stand up for what they believe, no matter the consequences.
There have been more than a few of these in my life. I am eternally grateful for the examples they have set and the challenges they have presented. I don’t believe I am the hero type, but I greatly admire those who are. My problem is that I hate conflict. Heroes seem to love conflict. To each his own.
Guru – 1: a personal religious and spiritual teacher in Hinduism 2: a teacher in matters of fundamental concern 3: expert. I don’t know too much about Hinduism or experts, but I think I understand matters of fundamental concern. This is about learning something in which you are really, really interested. Kinda like banjo playing, but probably more serious, and probably concerning spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth.
Once again, I recognize the presence of several gurus in my life. I try to continue learning and growing, so I continually seek out those persons who have some information/skills I want and need. It is amazing to me that sometimes I am not even aware of a learning experience until it has passed. I do hope I can fill the role of guru in someone else’s life. Perhaps guru is a stronger label than I needed, but it made the title flow so nicely. Don’t you agree? And I love a catchy title.
Friend – 1: one attached to another by respect or affection. No need to go any further. I particularly like the respect part of that definition. Aristotle said, “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Think about that for a minute. I’m not talking about the guy next door who borrows your hedge clippers and possibly shares a beer with you on a hot summer day. Nor am I talking about the barista at Starbucks who calls you by name and remembers your drink order. No, I’m talking about a person who genuinely cares about you, without any reservations and without any expectation of benefit. He or she just cares about you. And you feel exactly the same about them. That’s what friends are.
Triple Threat – How about if we look at the possibility of all three characteristics being present in one person. A triple threat. It happens. Maybe not very often, but it happens.
I remember Jack Glover. He was teaching at the “other high school” in Abilene when I was starting my teaching career. Even though he was several years my senior, and had a lot of years experience to my none, he never made me feel less than capable. He was my hero, my mentor, and my friend. His passing in 2000 was a great personal loss. There have been others I could share, but I hate a long, drawn-out post.
Luckily I am married to a triple threat person. Regina is not afraid of a good fight, as long as it is with a worthy opponent. She continues to teach me valuable life lessons (not to mention computer skills), and is the best friend I have ever had. Plus, she gives me many ideas for this blog, and proofreads each one to make sure they make sense. I think she inherited those qualities from her father, Bob Jouglard, who was definitely a triple threat. He died in 1998, so I had only known him for about 12 years, but in that brief time, I experienced a true hero, guru and friend. Hardly a day goes by that I/we don’t say, “I wish Bob were here to experience this with us.”
Who do you have in your life that is a hero, a guru, and/or a friend? Please share. And don’t forget to tell them how much you appreciate them.