I’m struck silent as I consider statistics on child poverty, abuse, and injustice. 143 million orphans. 1 billion children worldwide living in poverty. Over 3 million children abused each year. 150 million children engaged in child labor. 400,000 children trafficked across the borders each year. Reading these facts, I lament: these children need a hero. Actually, they need heroes to rise up and become a voice in our world of injustice.
In light of the grave suffering our world’s children endure, it’s a farce that our culture would attempt to re-define heroism according to a person’s investment in their own sensual fulfillment. Really? Would we call a hero one who would spend millions in pursuit of self-gratification? Is courage now dependent on one’s commitment to self-indulgent personal happiness? Is bravery now equated to one’s ability to acquire millions for squandering on selfish fantasies?
There was a time when a hero was one who sacrificed all for the good of others. Courage came in the form of laying down one’s life for a friend. Bravery meant facing death that others could live.
Our flimsy re-definition of heroism is but a symptom of deep-rooted issues. We’ve suppressed the truth of who we are and whose we are. We’ve forgotten why we’re here. If each would live according to our greater purpose and higher calling, how much of today’s suffering would dissipate? And how quickly.
Instead, we live ignorant and bored, ever in search of the latest diversion, however costly. And we read the headlines, shake our heads at the devastation and praise the man-made-woman all the while pointing our fingers at God in blame for the suffering.
If there is suffering, it’s not because God is silent and inactive. It’s because we are. And we’ve traded the greater good for the empty cistern of selfish gain.