There is a little television show called American Idol. Have you heard of it? Well it is a competition to find the next big singing star and it caused a bit of hoopla in my hometown last week. Lee DeWyze, one of the three finalists and a native of Mt. Prospect, came home for a parade and concert. As a once in a lifetime event, I had to be there. So I walked downtown and met up with some of my husband’s family to welcome Lee home and wish him well. There was such a positive vibe in the crowd. Yes, there was some excitement of seeing a “star” and someone who was referred to more than once as “dreamy,” but there was also an overpowering feeling of support. The people who gathered were there to show Lee that he wasn’t going it alone and that his hometown was very supportive and proud of him. It was a very positive event in which to be a part.
Not to take away from Lee, but I began to think of some others who have made it big yet they did not receive this hero’s welcome. There are two Emmy Award winners and a Pulitzer Prize winner all also from Mt. Prospect, but they didn’t receive a key to the city. Imagine if they did. Imagine if a few times of year we all gathered to celebrate the successes of our neighbors. Then I took it one layer deeper. There are some exceptional people in my life that are not award winners but deserve all the fanfare, support, and recognition that Lee does. Imagine if we could hold a parade for the nurse that really took care of your loved one, for the teacher who encourages your child, or for the individual who said the right thing at the right time to help you succeed.
I was trying to think of a momentous idol in my life, but instead the person who came to mind is a simple man who lives two blocks away. I don’t know too much about him. Actually, I don’t know anything about him except his house number is the same as mine. But I do know that he is a sweet, generous, and caring man. A package was delivered to his home instead of mine. He could have simply called UPS and had them re-route the box, but instead he dropped it off for me. This may not seem like a big deal, but it was too me. I really was looking forward to receiving the package. But what really touched me was that he went out of his way for me. I was deeply affected by his gesture, perhaps because it was a sincere act of giving in a world that can be so self-centered and fear-focused.
Who are the Idols in your life? Who are the people that make you proud? Who are the people who deserve recognition for all the good that they do? Let’s create our own online parade. Leave a reply to this blog posting and recognize the idols in your life. Who are they? Why are they your idol? Share with us so that we can recognize all the unsung heroes.