When I was the first Lady of Kansas City, I can’t tell you often I was approached by people who thought of me as either a shrew or a hero. But since most of them only “knew” me from what they’d read in the newspaper or seen on TV, of course, their assessment wasn’t at all accurate. But neither label they applied was comforting.
My initial instinct was to scream at those who were gullible enough to believe what the media had fed them. Contrary to the news reports, I took on the first lady role with ease, and the duty seriously.
Instead of screaming at the people who called me a shrew, I just smiled and offered my help. I wish I could say I didn’t think bad thoughts about them, because I surely did. Still, I did what my job required.
As for the ones who called me a hero, always one to take in strays of the human kind, I felt a strong need to help them see the hero living inside of them. Every one of us is special in some way. Sometimes all it takes for people to notice is being willing to spend a little time getting to one and other.
In the mayor’s office, I came in contact with tons of people I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Many of them had done some of the noblest deeds. Yet being just ordinary folks, their sacrifice went unnoticed. But because of my experience with people applying a hero label to me, I thought my husband should honor unrecognized heroes with a “Be Somebody’s Hero” proclamation on Legislative Thursdays. He did. And I can’t tell you how thrilling it was for everyday people and their families to be recognized that way.
Today, I am carrying on that tradition. Here, anyone can nominate an unrecognized hero and have that person featured in a monthly blog post. The hero will get the recognition due him or her, and hopefully, their story will inspire others to become somebody’s hero.
Please click to Nominate A Hero.