By Eitan Shishkoff
Unsung heroes are the real
Why do I say that?
Because that which is truly heroic is sacrificial, and often unheralded.
The acts of unsung heroes enable the known heroes to achieve heroism.
These are the individuals behind the scenes. In fact, we will never know
the names of some of the greatest heroes, because their deeds were done
out of the limelight.
A true hero lays down his or her life for someone else to be
successful, to be whole, to live - regardless of whether others are
looking or not.
Recently, I saw two movies in which the main character - the unsung hero
- was the person who gave up their own fame and success to make someone
else successful. By the end of each film, I was inspired by their
example. They were more appealing than the "hero" they were serving.
So, what is your concept of success? Is it "being out front?" Is it
getting your name recognized? Or ... is it making others successful? If
we take Yeshua's teaching at face value, we immediately understand
His approach to the question.
Edmund Hilary & Sherpa Tenzing
(photo- Horowhenua Historical Society Inc.)
In Matthew 20, the Lord rebukes His disciples for "one-upmanship". They
want the better place.
He says, "In my kingdom, he who would be great must serve everybody
The goal is not "How much can I get and when will people pay attention
to me?" Rather the goal is "How can I support, help, bless, and
equip the other person, enabling them to achieve?"
In Philippians 2 the apostle tells us to "prefer others before
yourselves." This is a hard saying. My natural instinct is to relate
to life from within my own skin. How can I possibly let go of me
in order to make someone else my priority? This requires a change of
heart. It requires the heart of God inside me - Yeshua's
What did God mean when He said, in Ezekiel 37, "I will take out the
heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh?" This touches my true,
inner attitudes toward the success of others. Do I resent them? When
someone legitimately asks for my help, am I willing to set aside my
priorities? What will it cost to make someone else successful?
Overcoming Mt. Everest and Deaf/Blindness
Tenzing Norgay was the Sherpa guide who accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary in
the first ascent to Mt. Everest in history. On an earlier expedition,
Norgay saved Hillary's life, by acting instantly when Hillary fell
into an ice crevasse. This led to their partnership in the future summit
attempt. After the unprecedented accomplishment of scaling the
world's highest peak - where even breathing is almost impossible -
they refused to say which of them was the first to the top. That's
how essential the Sherpa's heroic assistance was to the "leader",
Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan, Jul 1888
Anne Sullivan was teacher and mentor to Helen Keller, a six year old who
had been unable to communicate after becoming both blind and deaf since
the age of two. Hired in desperation, only 20, and nearly blind herself,
Sullivan was charged with taming the wild and confused child. Anne
proceeded to work a "miracle". Less than a month after meeting Helen, in
April 1887, she broke through in a timeless moment while holding the
child Helen's hands under water flowing from a well-pump. From that
instant, Helen rapidly learned to read and finally, to talk. She became
the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree (1904).
Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life, has been
translated into 50 languages. Mark Twain called her one of the two most
interesting characters of the 19th century. Yet without Sullivan, who
became a lifelong friend and companion, Keller would be unknown.
People all around us need the investment of our life, in order to become
more than they are. Healing on the inside often requires a relationship
of selfless, persevering love. I've come to believe in "mentoring",
and have seen breakthroughs from giving time to individuals "behind the
scenes". Yes, I still speak and write publicly. But some of the most
rewarding fruit I've witnessed happens far from the platform, in
Ask God to show you someone in whom to invest your life. Make them a
success. Be an unsung hero, a real hero!