Small Acts, Big Impact.

I think most of you know this but heroes rarely come with a cape. They don’t have mutant powers or a big red “S” on their chest and they usually don’t save the world from some evil guy in a giant robot, destroying half a city in the process. In fact most heroes don’t even know or care that they’re heroes at all. There are the traditional types of heroes such as firemen and soldiers and doctors, these are the heroes who do the large acts of bravery and heroics. They save lives by jumping into burning buildings, curing illnesses, and risking their lives for others without a second thought. I have a deep respect for these people. They fit into what I call the “Ordinary who do the Extraordinary” category, ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

Then there are the “Third Grade Paper” types of heroes. Everyone has one of these heroes. The third grade paper hero is a personal hero, the type of hero you would write about in one of those “My Personal Hero” papers that you had to do in elementary school. Usually it’s an older person, commonly a parent or grandparent or aunt etc etc. The ones who wouldn’t mean much to anyone else but had a major influence in your life and helped make you who you are as a person today.

Finally there are the unsung heroes aka the “Van Goghs and Poes”. People who did little things in your life that didn’t mean much to you at the time but now you realize the full impact they had on your life. Like Van Gogh and Poe they weren’t recognized for what they were until way later (though in Poe and Van Gogh’s case they were dead by the time their work was recognized.

Now these can all overlap, they’re not rigid categories. The reason I started thinking about heroes is because I was reflecting on my past. It’s funny to me some of the things that stick out the most for me and the people who matter now versus who mattered then. Most of my good memories happened around my first two years of high school and that is in good part due to the fact that I met so really wonderful people who became my friends. I’ve never had the best luck with my friends (more specifically girls) I was always the person in the group who was called when everyone else was busy or not at all. They are a part of the reason I refuse to have a “best friend”. To me the most pathetic part of it all was that the people who I so desperately clung to back then are people who I don’t even think of now. We’re not friends and I don’t care about them.  Then in the 9th grade I found the most wonderful place, better than Narnia, it was my high school library. I have always been a book lover and the place to me was just paradise. A paradise run by the two greatest people in the world (I won’t give names, don’t want you guys to find them and steal them). Anyway I practically moved into the library and the two librarians became like parents to me. They genuinely cared about me (which in itself was just weird to me) and wanted me to succeed in life. The librarian was one of the coolest adults I had ever met in my life, he ran a club called the Tolkien Society (where I met nerds like me who actually liked being around me and I could be my nerdy little self), he was in a band, he was smart and knew all about books, and he talked to me like a person and not like a child. Very much the father figure in my life.

The other was different but very cool in her own right. She was a bit more strict but it was more of a mom type of strict where she was doing it because she cared (also because we were being super loud in her library but mostly the first part). She was also a ninja, I’m not kidding, I don’t know how she did it but she moved so silently and had this super keen sense of someone messing around or talking about her. It was like Beetlejuice where you say the name and the person shows up out of nowhere. There was one time that me and a couple of my new nerdy guy friends had gotten into trouble for being loud and obnoxious. We had been scolded and had gone and sat at a table in the library. One of the guys started talking about her, she was mean, a horrible person etc etc. Then as he was talking she showed up right behind him, I swear it was some kind of magic, I guess the looks on our faces tipped the guy off because he said “she’s right behind me isn’t she”. It was priceless.

The memories of that time might seem inconsequential to most; arguing in the back of the library, playing Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, talking about books and wondering how the Harry Potter series would end, but to me it was some of the best times of my life to date. At the end of my Sophomore year I found out I was moving out of state, lets just say I was not a happy camper. I decided to have a going away party for myself (which I knew was pathetic even then) I was so wrapped up in myself that when I went into the library one afternoon after school I was caught completely by surprise by a going away party the library peoples and some close friends had thrown for me. Best. Party. Ever. They had gotten me a cake with elvish script iced on the top and they had all pitched in for my gift, which was the phial of Galadriel. Which if anyone knows the book or movie is the gift that Galadriel gave Frodo as he left Lothlorien. It is probably the best parting gift ever.

“Behold the light of Elendil, our most beloved star. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” ~ Galadriel, LOTR

They are very much my Van Goghs and Poes. I thought I appreciated them at the time but not even near as much as I do now looking back. They are the reason I am who I am (though not the crazy part, that’s not their fault). The little things they did in my life left a lasting impression. One of those “when I grow up I want to be just like them” type things. If you have someone in your life that is a Van Gogh and Poe (of course you’d have to realize they are one first) and unlike Van Gogh or Poe they’re still alive then thank them. Two words. You’d be surprised how much two words can mean.



About freak0nature

Nerd with a weird sense of humor. View all posts by freak0nature

3 responses to “Small Acts, Big Impact.

  • selonnerias

    Wow those librarians did do a lot for you 🙂 they created a safe haven where you could be your nerdy self. I don’t think I’ve got personal heroes that made that big of an impact, I do have a lot of small impacts though.

  • ivory flower girls dresses

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I dont know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already Cheers!

  • Lonely_Deserted_Monster

    That’s awesome! I know what it’s like to be lonely… it isn’t fun… I’m glad you made friends and found people that cared about you that you could trust!

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