Photo courtesy of Jason Lamar
Aman that I respect has died. Last week I went to say goodbye. Standing before his body, someone said, “they just don’t make guys like him anymore.”
It’s true that older guys don’t share a lot. They are not on facebook or blogs. Social networking to them was a trip to the barbershop or hardware store — all done in person.
He earned a bronze star and had a proud history of serving others. His kindness, frequent encouraging words, and a firm handshake, week in and week out over 15+ years, means a great deal to me. He was a hero, which by definition is “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.”
Driving away I thought — we better find a way to make more like him. Society has not given up on men of courage and noble qualities. I don’t want to be one of those folks that sits around lamenting how things are not like they once were as if what made him great is fading and elusive.
This man was once at teenager, a basic training initiate, a young Dad, a mid-life husband, and a senior citizen. He went through it all. He had loads of stories about how to do things a better. He became the finished product over a lifetime, grounded and guided by his faith. He stood apart at each step by his kindness and focus on others.
The best way to honor the memory of a hero is to make more heroes. The best way to make more heroes is to intentionally invest in others, to see that as a great achievement, a high calling, and magnificent purpose.