Thursday, June 12, 2008


What makes a hero?

I think most of us wouldn’t bat an eye to help someone in need. We’d walk that extra mile to lend a hand.

So what separates us from truly heroic people?

Last August we had our company picnic at a lake near town. It was our typical picnic except that due to a dry winter the reservoir was very low. A handful of us walked with our kids across the sand, and then further out across the hardening mud down to the water’s edge.

A few of the kids got in and played. The smaller ones had to wear life jackets as about a foot out, the bottom dropped off and the water was deep.

As I kept an eye on my children, I noticed another group of people walking along the water’s edge a little way from us.

Then a young voice yelled, “He’s drowning!”

All the adults turned and . . . froze. Near where the other group had passed, about four feet from shore bobbed a baseball cap. My mind tried to comprehend that a child was beneath that hat.


Charlie was a blur as he ran past us all toward the edge and jumped. Like I wished I had.

Up they both came. One small panicked boy held tightly against Charlie’s side.

Where we all stood dumb-stricken, Charlie acted. And saved that little boy’s life.

Is it training? Is it instinct? I don’t know.

I just know I want to be more like Charlie.

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