Even in the midst of horrible tragedy, a number of stories about heroism also come to the surface. Stories about young men and women sacrificing their own safety to save lives stand in stark contrast to the ugliness that caused the acts of heroism in the first place. These heros are celebrated by every person they positively impacted, and they inspire others to step forward when most will run away. These are powerful stories, of sacrifice and lives that should never be ignored or forgotten. It is these types of heroes who remind us that even in the face of horrific situations, humanity still wins.
However, there are also many 'unsung' heroes.
These are the people who sit and simply hold a horrified young lady while she tries to come to terms with what happened. These are the people who shared their cell phones with someone who needed to let someone else know they are okay. The unsung heroes are the ones who offer rides to complete strangers, because it is the only thing they can offer. The unsung heroes are people just like you and I. We don't all have combat training that would allow us to know how to overcome a gunman, but most of us have humanity behind us and that alone teaches us how to go a little out of our way to silently care for someone for a few minutes.
Maybe the tragedies that surround you and I are not news worthy events. Perhaps the most shocking event you've experienced is a friend who was just told she has cancer, or you witnessed a neighbor take a bad spill. Even these every day events are tragedies for the lives involved and each one needs an 'unsung' hero to step in and take the time to do something.
At times we find ourselves completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of the need. As an individual I might be only able to do one or two small things to help and it is easy to see that what I can do is a tiny drop in the bucket compared to the overwhelming expanse of the need. So, maybe what I can do to help isn't enough to save the day for everyone, but it is probably enough to make a positive difference in someone's life for a moment.
Even a well timed hug holds a powerful message of hope for someone who is hurting.
Don't hesitate to do what you can, even when it doesn't feel like it is enough. Doing something is what unsung heroes do everyday, and it is the unsung heroes in our lives that make the tragedies we encounter survivable.