There is enough room for everyone of us to be a hero

Tuesday, March 21st, 2023 01:00 | By
There is enough room for everyone of us to be a hero. PHOTO/Courtesy

The notion that being a hero is a preserve of people of certain calibre, or that only certain situations permit for heroes to stand out among the population, is misguided.

We need to pay tribute to the men and women who lived at different times and exemplified and defended the highest values of patriotism for the country and its citizens.

The truth of the matter is, everyone can be a hero and at any given time. Our national heroes have collectively provided the example and inspiration which have enabled us to come this far as a country.

We need heroes now more than ever. In the midst of economic hardships, law and order challenges, confused morality and general malaise in society, our children need to be reminded that we are a great people who can do great things. We need hope and the symbols of hope are our heroes.

Heroes are everywhere. Countless people have demonstrated admirable values towards their families or their communities and in their day-to-day lives.

Several people go above and beyond to provide food, clothes and other needs for the vulnerable, while others risk their lives to save strangers from danger.

We should not forget the millions of Kenyans giving service in their neighborhoods, youth clubs, citizens associations and community initiatives as they work to keep the body and soul of our nation intact. Citizens who everyday give all of themselves on behalf of others are the real national heroes.

The government has on several occasions been accused of not celebrating the achievements of the youth. There are many young people positively impacting society. They have been at the forefront in endeavours to make Kenya shine at different levels in the arts, sports, entrepreneurship and many other sectors.

For example, Michael Olunga is a role model to many young people especially with ambitions to excel in football. Journalist James Smart is a shining light to aspiring journalists. Smart, who was born and raised in Korogocho, has been mentoring young people in poor neighbourhoods to pursue journalism.

Boniface Mwangi, the outspoken activist, continues to inspire many in his quest to stamp out impunity. Mwangi also empowers youth by instilling in them values of integrity. Bina Maseno, the founder of Badili Africa, has been in the forefront in mentoring young women.

We have seen young people creating positive change in their communities, but their efforts go unrecognised or undervalued.

It is commendable the Kenya Heroes Act passed in 2014 provides for an elaborate mechanism for recognition of heroes. The recently inaugurated National Heroes Council to select and honour heroes, must ensure the youth and other unsung heroes are not left out.

Most importantly, we must appreciate the truism that everyone in their communities, workplaces and families can be heroes, and they don’t need to be rich, educated or belonging to a certain religion or group.

There is enough room for everyone to be a hero, everywhere, every time. Just as one by one make a bundle, we can impact our society by doing minor heroic acts.

—The writer is a public policy analyst —[email protected]

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