This is a different sort of hero. A special sort. Very special.
This hero fights his battles inside. Unseen, unheard of, hard battles. By himself.
He has no white charger.
This hero fights hard, inner battles.
This hero gets up, goes to work, battles rush hour traffic, fights his temper, puts up with insults, ridicule, and filth from people at work, on the road, and in the store.
This hero doesn't have the finest armor, and often it doesn't shine.
This hero doesn't say much. He doesn't talk about his battles. He fights them alone. Not always because of pride, but because there is no one willing to help him fight.
He fights alone because he fears he is the only one that feels the wounds. And these wounds are deep...
This hero often will not say it, but he doesn't do well with being ridiculed, and laughed at; so he avoids it as much as possible.
He is constantly harassed, and wounded. Beaten down for every little advance he makes. Often discouraged from the fight.
So often he turns his weary steps homeward, looking for comfort and relief.... when he comes home he's tired, worn out, and bone weary.... and there's no cheerful face to greet him at the door.
His princess doesn't run out to meet him, and usher him in as a victor.
Most of the time it's as if he had no princess, and was returning to an empty, war torn castle.
Often times sadly, his princess is not understanding of him, and says things that hurt him. Like putting salt in his wounds....
His princess gets upset with him when he comes home discouraged. She gets upset when he says he's tired, because after all, he got to go somewhere, when she was "cooped up" in the castle all day.
Often his princess doesn't praise him for the victories he gained that day. She doesn't encourage him, and build him up for the next day's hard battle.
Instead, she says things to belittle him; cutting things.
He does this day in, and day out. Every day he's up and facing the foes again. Often feeling inadequate, discouraged, and out of strength. He's not yet healed from yesterday's battles when it's time for today's battles. It's been that way for years.
He fights these battles - knowing he'll lose many of them - because he loves her.
He goes out day after day, with little to no help or encouragement - because he loves her.
He musters what little strength he has left and fights on, tho' he's wounded and bleeding - because he loves her. Because he wants to protect her, he wants to care for her, and because she means the world to him.
The wounds she gives him hurt more than those received in battle, because she's the one that matters to him, she is the one he looks to for healing and comfort. And often he looks to her in vain.
She wounds him deeply, almost daily... but he doesn't say anything - because he loves her.
Often times he wants to say something; he wants to tell her how it hurts... but he doesn't know how to, much of the time. And even when he does know how, he often doesn't - because he doesn't want to hurt her.
Thus he continues on alone, wounded, and out of strength; fighting battles that are more than can be fought alone.
It's this that makes him a hero... he goes on.
He continues on, fighting for what he believes is right even when there is little, or no support.
He goes on serving his God, and caring for his princess even when it all seems pointless, and for naught.
"This hero" is not just one man, but many..... our fathers, brothers, husbands, cousins and friends.
Girls. The men in our lives are far more of hero's than we like to think. And they need our love and respect. They need our support! And it goes way further than just words.... it has to be actions as well.
The guys face things on a daily basis that we often don't even think about. Hard things. And they're facing them alone because we, for the most part, don't care to pay attention. Or, maybe we do care... but we're not careful to show it.
We need to rise up in support of our hero's.
I talk to guys a lot. And with the host of different things they all face daily, the underlying problem they all seem to face, is lack of support from us girls.
We were made to support the men, so they wouldn't have to go on alone. We've neglected to fulfill the very purpose for which we were created, and they are suffering for it.
There are so many things the guys need our help with. But they - much of the time - will not mention it themselves.
Do your part, and ask your fathers, brothers, cousins, husbands and in some cases, friends what it is they need help with. They may have to think on it for a while. They're not used to offered help really; but give them time, and then no matter how small the thing they ask, do it. Sometimes it's the little things that help them most.
To all you unsung hero's out there. Thank you for what you do. We do appreciate you.
Remember this. No matter how small the victory, no matter how small a thing it is you do... You're still a hero.