Hero is a term that is bantered around a little too often and too loosely. That said, there are an abundance of heroes today, in our city, state and country. There are everyday heroes who are unsung, but are everywhere. They are the parents who raise their children to be productive, honest members of our society. Every person who takes pride in his work, regardless of profession or status, and does it to the best of his or her ability is a hero to those of us who use their products or services. Politicians are much maligned. Those politicians who know that they work for the people and serve for the betterment of the town, state, country and their constituents, are heroes.
This time of year it is proper to recognize our local political figures who have made and maintained Prescott as Arizona's Christmas city. Every year there are more lights on the trees on the courthouse plaza. Every year Ken Bennett, a true hero in my book, reads about the Nativity from the Bible. I've heard the secular progressives have attempted, unsuccessfully, to stop this for years as a violation of the First Amendment's prohibition against the establishment of religion (which it obviously isn't).
To those who love and promote music and musical education, the people who organize, perform, supply the venues and donate to Acker Night are heroes. The quantity and quality of the musical presentations that night lift our spirits and enhance the season. The donations received that night not only contribute to Prescott's reputation as Arizona's Christmas City but also purchase the instruments that should make it the musical center of the state as well.
The one defining quality that all heroes have is the willingness to sacrifice for others. This is true in battle where those in the military sacrifice their safety, limbs or lives to save their fellow combatants and the people and country for which they fight. It is certainly true of police, firefighters and all first responders. It is also true of those volunteers who selflessly give their time, effort and themselves in the service of others.
In this season of hope, love and giving, we should not loose sight for whom this season is named. The coming of the Messiah was a beacon of hope. By giving his life for all of us, Jesus showed the most profound love. The biblical citation is in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”
While few of us will be required to show our love by making the ultimate sacrifice, we can keep the Christmas spirit alive all year long by doing little things. Smiling, making eye contact and greeting strangers can make someone's day. Picking up liter rather than walking by it will make everyone's quality of life just a little bit better. Holding a door open or helping someone pick up dropped items, fosters positive attitudes and a friendlier environment. In the mean time, enjoy the season, family and friends. I hope your Christmas was merry and may you have a Happy, Friendly, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.