When I first read the prompt for this week, I thought, "There really aren't any heroes today". Before I moved to China, I had heard how polite everyone here is. But after living here for seven and a half years, I have seen young boys race for seats on the bus, young kids steal a purse from an old lady on the street, a bus driver actually hit an elderly woman as she tried to cross the street (crosswalks don't mean anything here), shopkeepers act as if they had other things to do than to help people who come in, attendants yell at those they are to attend to, kids working in gangs to steal from foreigners and other unsuspecting people, and bus drivers who have to yell at people to give up their seats for young women with babies and the elderly.
Then, this week, I saw some people who have changed my opinion about the lack of heroes today. A young woman gave up her seat on the bus for me. This was the first time this has happened to me. Was it because she saw my necklace break and scatter across the floor of the bus? Or did she see the patch of gray hair, and other gray strands in their increasing frequency? Then, I saw a young boy actually help an elderly woman across the street. Maybe they were related, but then again, maybe not. Then, I saw the students who went out to help their teacher carry in a box of supplies, without being asked. And then, the recycler, who rings his bell while pulling his two-wheeled cart, picking up cardboard and other recyclables. He yelled at a guy riding a bike on the street, to stop and watch his cart while he helped a woman take two heavy boxes up to her apartment.
These are the heroes of today. The people who go out of their way to do a small act of kindness, to help someone in need, without asking for compensation, or reward. So in a day when I see so many people being rude and inconsiderate, when I look a little farther, I can see the heroes who strive to make this world a little more pleasant, a little easier, and a little safer for those around them.
For more stories of heroes, go here.