what heroism looks like

To be honest, I'm haunted these days by a door that wasn't opened. My mind keeps waiting for the usual narrative, since in books and movies, the hero always gets the door open and saves the day. Unfortunately, real life doesn't always work that way.

One thing I've learned though : a man can be a hero even if the plane goes down. Patrick Sondenheimer was heroic in my eyes. He kept on trying to save everyone, despite the terror he must have been feeling.

I'm sure that plane held many heroes - crew who tried to keep the passengers calm and safe, adults who comforted the children, people who blessed the world with their last prayers and hopes. There were these pilots, heroes also for offering such compassion and kindness to their own passengers, afterwards. And this woman, whose letter to a pilot brought tears to my eyes.

Every day, men, women and children are heroic in ways we never notice. A mother takes a deep breath instead of growling at her children. A girl talks to the ostracised boy at school. I believe heroism is not only about courage, but also kindness, and choosing ordinary acts of goodness despite all the pressures in the world. Everyone is fighting a hard battle within themselves. The heroic ones are those who keep on defying gravity


  1. Elizabeth Waggoner USAApril 1, 2015 at 1:53 AM

    Lovely, Sarah. This actually made me cry for a minute because it's so absolutely true. Very, very well said.

  2. This has been on my mind often, lately, too. I love the way you focused on the heroes instead.

  3. thank you for these thoughts and insights into challenging situations.