For years, he has been there for many. He has been there for his siblings, there for his parents, there for his family, there for strangers, there whenever the clergy needed him, there in WhatsApp Groups formed to support a cause, there in Group projects to help those in need.
He has travelled kilometers being a blessing to many, poured his heart out for those who were dry. He has sacrificed even when no one is noticing, doing all this expecting nothing in return.
Such heroes tend to operate in isolation.
As he stared at an empty wall during his own dry spell, he received a text message from someone he has not spoken to in a long while. “Hey, are you OK?”
He read that message and started crying. He asked himself “Why am I crying?”
Then it hit him.
He cannot remember the last time someone has asked him if he is really OK. He is aways the one there for others but this time around, it is someone wanting to be there for him.
“I am OK, thank you for asking. Hoping you are too. How is your family?” He replied pretending he is fine.
“Stop diverting the conversation. Today it is not about my family, today it is about you. I will ask again, are you really OK? I sense it my spirit that you are not” the person messaged back.
He looked at his phone for a few minutes, wondering, should he speak the truth? It took every ounce of energy left in him to text the next message.
“No, I have not been OK for a long time. I am tired of hiding” he replied then broke down.
The person called him over the phone, he picked up. “Talk to me. I am here for you” said the person.
He has never known how powerful those words are. He opened up, shared all the silent battles he has been facing that he had not shared with anyone because heroes always have to be strong, because many people look up to him, because when you are strength to many, you don’t post your weaknesses online.
“Forget about being a hero, time for you to be human. Let me be there for you” the person on the other end of the call said.
He has never felt such peace, a weight had been lifted over his shoulder. All this time, he has been a hero saving others yet carrying heavy burdens. He has been a hero who needs saving.
Sadly, this is the story of many men and women who are there for others, a lot of them are carrying burdens so heavy but no one notices because most people around are used to them giving. Sometimes heroes need saving.
If there is a hero in your life, please reach out to him/her for a change. Find out how he/she is doing. Give to them for a change. Show love to them for a change. Surprise them for a change. Save them for a change… Though be warned, they might act tough when you try to be there for them because they are not used to being on the receiving end but do it still. Be stubborn in your care. They need it, even if they struggle to admit it. Their “I have it all together” wall is hiding their inner struggles.