When we left the Bay Area behind for new adventure in Tahoe more than 40 years ago, it was impossible to leave Herb and Art behind too. Long after Herb Caen and Art Hoppe, iconic columnists, our driveway has continued to have two newspapers laying at the top each morning, The Tahoe Daily Tribune for local news and sports and the SF Chronicle to give us the green section’s latest on the Giants, and the pink section’s little man clapping out the movie reviews. The Parade magazine is always a must-read, right after the “funnies.”
Parade’s title article this week is “The Making of a Hero.” The article had one of those box texts titled, “Do you have what it takes?” My attention was drawn to this immediately. Hmm, what does it take? Could I be a hero if put in that situation? According to Elizabeth Svobada’s new book, “What Makes a Hero, The Surprising Science of Selflessness,” there are four qualities of a potential hero: 1. They abide by a moral code. 2. They’ve been trained to take action. 3. They’re highly compassionate. 4. They perform ordinary acts of kindness.
These qualities are the same that are seen in volunteers throughout our community. There is no such thing as a stranger to volunteers, but people just like us that need help. Spending time in service to others is an important, integral and life-enhancing part of life for these quiet heroes. Personal values lead their day-to-day lives.
A dramatic, life-saving event — which can put one’s own life at risk — is a path to heroism. There are others. Another path is to step out of our comfort zone and into the zone of compassion, action and kindness. It can also lead to being someone’s hero.
CASA volunteers are heroes for children, families and often to the court. They are trained to take action through their CASA training, consistently reporting to the Court the voice and best interests of children that are a part of our Dependency Court process.
Calling all heroes forward, the fall CASA Training will take place at Lake Tahoe Community College, in the Board Room, on Monday and Thursday evenings from 5-8 p.m. during October; beginning with Session 1 on Thursday, Oct. 3, and concluding with Session 8 on Monday, Oct. 28. Call 573-3093 for more information.
No additional superpowers beyond compassion and caring are required. Having those is what it takes to be a hero.