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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Unsung Hero (12/07/06)

TITLE: Better than Superman
By SHANEIL HARADA
12/14/06


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“What is a hero?” I asked my three-year-old daughter. She thought for a moment and then said, “um, Superman.”

With the ability to fly, to see through walls, and to lift a car with his bare hands what greater hero could there be?

My children have the unfortunate experience of having divorced parents. In addition to that, their father lives two hundred miles away and they only get to see him once every three months or so. With divorce on the rise, heroes are harder and harder to come by.

When I think of a hero, I think of the father that takes his son Subway for dinner before they attend a Wednesday night service together. I think of the men who take their children to the park and join them climbing on the jungle gym.

To me, a hero will kneel with his children at night and join them for their bedtime prayers. He will remind them to brush their teeth and teach them to catch a football on the weekends.

A hero takes the time out of his busy schedule to sit and watch the dance his daughter made up for him. He will treat every picture his child draws as if it is a priceless work of art.

My hero taught me to catch a pop fly and how to make wood burned signs. We spent hours in his shop together. Sometimes I just watched him work, and other times he taught me to do it myself. My hero listened when I talked; he treated me with love and respect.

A good friend of mine just turned twenty. The other day he thrilled my daughter by talking to her and actually listening to what she said. He played with her for only a moment, but it was a memorable experience for her. My friend will make a wonderful hero one day.

So often the emphasis is placed on success in the workplace, and bringing home a bigger paycheck. It is so easy to forget the really important things in life. Things like the sound of a child’s laughter as they make snow angels on the lawn, the smell of your little girl’s freshly washed hair, and the sweet taste of chocolate milk kisses.

I can’t imagine Superman or any other comic book character being a greater hero than a father who takes the time to be a father. I thank God for all the heroes out there, and I pray that every child will be able to know what it’s like to have a hero to call their own.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/15/06
How very poignant...written with great skill.
Dennis Fletcher12/18/06
Thank you, I sat here, reading this, thinking of my children. I only hope to be half the hero they deserve as that would be better than nothing.
Wonderful peice, well written.