I was watching the Olympics this past winter and I was really impressed with their efforts and their sacrifices. But then I got to thinking about the heroes of everyday life. I know a few of them myself. People who have overcome great odds, people who will face great challenges in their future.
But what about the people we know who never achieve such fame but whose challenge is every bit as great? I know a number of people who deserve Gold Medals for various reasons. People battling cancer. Parents of children with special needs. Young couples struggling to make ends meet financially. Older people fighting loneliness. Those suffering the loss of a loved one.
I’m not diminishing the efforts of these Olympians. But sometimes we get so caught up in the drama and the glitz that we don’t see what’s right in front of us–people who deserve our applause no matter how small their stage.
So the next time you want to cheer someone, look for someone in your own life that deserve your applause. It could be that person you know who battles depression. They are Olympian athletes in their own right but in their case, their heroic efforts are seldom noticed. I know someone like that. She has lived her whole life under its shadow and yet has managed to find joy wherever she can. No one sees her fight but I do. She is my hero.
So today look around for someone to award a “Gold Medal”. Give them your encouragement, your support, your applause. And what about you? Do you deserve your own medal? I think each of us is brave in some way. I think each of us overcomes challenges every day that no one knows about. So today if it’s been one of those challenging days, give yourself a medal. You deserve one.