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Subway Superman

[Photo: brave little plant by Designerd]

The extra strength feats of fantasy superhero characters are of great mass appeal -- almost as appealing as the extra strength feats of human superheros. Surely you've heard of the appropriately coined, "Subway Superman"?

He is also known as Wesley Autrey, a 50-year old father of two. Autrey saved the life of a 20-year old New York teen, who had fallen onto the subway tracks upon suffering a seizure, by laying over the boy's convulsing body as the oncoming train passed over them.

Autrey is being lauded as a hero and has been rewarded for his bravery and selflessness in a number of ways, including tear filled thank you's from the boy's family to civic awards and a trip to Disney land for his children. Autrey is obviously an extraordinary person, who has most likely performed many other acts of heroism and bravery throughout his life. These acts may not have been as bold and publicized as that he performed last week, but I am sure they were just as important to those that benefited from his actions.

We all have personal heroes that have touched our lives in extraordinary ways. These heroes often do not receive the recognition they deserve and often do not know how much of an impact their actions, no matter how seemingly small, had on our lives.

Take a moment to identify those that have been played the role of your personal hero and reflect on how their actions changed your life for the better. Did you have an opportunity to express to them the important role they played in your life? Were you granted an opportunity to thank them for their kindness?

If you wish, use the comments to recognize those that have played profound roles in your life. Or, share stories of great acts of heroism that you have witnessed or experienced.

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A personal hero to me was and is my neurosurgeon. He saved my life 20 years ago by removing a malignant brain tumor. He gave me a second chance and put me as a priority because my case was difficult and I was young.

I did have the opportunity to thank him and express my gratitude. 6 or 7 years after my surgery, during an outpatient visit the flood gates opened as I thanked him for what he did. I remember leaving a big wet mark on his shirt after it was over.

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