People in this day and age may not be in awe of superheroes of the comic book era, namely Superman, Batman and Robin, Spiderman, Wonder Woman and others that young people of the day believed in and really believed that they would be able to solve their problems, real and imagined.
But not so long ago, in the days when Mariah Carey’s “Hero” was at the top of the charts, the opening chord of that song was the signal for positive young people to cast their inhibitions aside and lustily belt out the refrain in the belief that the capacity to conquer the whole world laid within their own power.
Many of those persons who have gone on to achieve greatness had personally set as their motto some or all of the words of that song: “And then a hero comes along With the strength to carry on And you cast your fears aside, And you know you can survive. So when you feel like hope is gone Look inside you and be strong And you’ll finally see the truth That a hero lies in you.”
Perhaps, even on hearing and repeating those lyrics, the dream of becoming a sultry songstress like Mariah Carey became embedded into the hearts and souls of many a teenaged girl who later went on to pursue and fulfill her desire. The same could be true for the young boy who really and truly believed that he could, found the strength to carry on, and did.
The fact that success waits at the end of the road for those who aspire to seek it cannot be overlooked, but how many of us, if we had been left to our own devices, would have instinctively known which fork in the road was the right one?
How many of us today have been able to look back into the past and give thanks for the guidance and words of wisdom and advice provided by our relatives, friends, neighbours and other acquaintances that may all or singularly have been the crux of the decision to embark on, for example, a chosen career path or some other significant decision.
We live in a cruel, selfish world, we know. These are times when the unscrupulous, covetous, and criminal-minded amongst us would sooner push us over and take what we have rather than extending a hand in support. Rather than “adopting” and trying to straighten out that wayward neighbourhood boy or girl who seemingly has the knack for attracting trouble or making all the wrong choices, there are many depraved adults who gladly aid and abet the youngsters in their descent into destruction.
Here we pause to salute those members of our society who make it their duty in life to point others who may be unaware of their untapped potential, or life’s lurking, unimaginable pitfalls in the direction toward which they are able to lead highly productive lives. Gaining national recognition or fame is farthest from the minds of these “heroes” when they first identify and then decide to act on fulfilling the need to bring a little sunshine into someone else’s life. But for the most part their efforts go unheralded.
Year after year, FirstCaribbean International Bank has distinguished itself as the only institution that sets out to recognise those in our midst who quietly dedicate their time and their resources to serve others.
By launching its 2011 Unsung Heroes Programme just last week the bank has set these “Good Samaritans” apart for the true heroes that they are. Once again, in Antigua & Barbuda and the rest of the region, FirstCaribbean International has invited residents in these parts to single out, by nominating, those deserving men and women living among us who are quietly making their mark by performing the outstanding feat of helping others.
Since the inception of the Unsung Heroes Programme in 2003, nominations have served to open our eyes to the magnitude of work being done, the strides that are being made, and the extent of the love and caring that everyday heroes have extended to their fellowmen.
Indeed, they are the modern-day superheroes but instead of zooming through the skies at lightning speed, they walk the streets everywhere without any fanfare as they perform their good deeds and make a difference by rescuing disadvantaged youth, caring for the sick and elderly, feeding the hungry and providing shelter for the homeless.
And they are content with being just that: Unsung Heroes.