When I was a child many years ago, our newspaper in Chattanooga, Tenn., ran a cartoon, the theme of which was "Heroes are made, not born."
Drastic circumstances can change ordinary humans into instant heroes. We saw many such heroes created at the World Trade Center catastrophe Sept. 11.
Some heroes aren't just ordinary; they are unlikely.
Take my husband, John, for instance.
John is a soft-spoken Southern gentleman who prefers to look like an out-of-work cowboy. He is kind, compassionate, generous:
But a hero?
Yes — although he is legally blind (can hardly see at all) circumstances have twice forced him to assume the role of hero.
The first time, many years ago, while he was still single, occurred in a hotel. Another occupant, in a room down the hall, got drunk, went to sleep with a cigarette in his hand and set his bed on fire. He was overcome by smoke before John smelled the burning mattress and rushed to his rescue.