Today at work, during our “Language Arts” hour of study, we were discussing the book The Outsiders and the idea of heroes – not the spandex and cape wearing kind, but those ordinary heroes which provide real-life inspiration for real-life people. No one changes the direction of their life because of a Superman comic-book episode, and nobody will become a better person because of the X-Men movie.
We talked about the particular “heroes” of the narrative, and also about people in our own lives that might have provided a similar sort of positive influence as those types of heroes contained within the story.
Of course, some of the children mentioned (perhaps not entirely understanding the focus of the discussion) some of those celluloid champions of the small and large screens – but others (including the other teachers) mentioned their parents or other such mentor figures they had known.
When it came to me I mentioned that I had just too many such figures I could consider to share my own in the given time – thinking, in my own mind, of those whose ideas have left their residue upon my mind as well as those whose lives and testimonies provide a daily inspiration. I thought of the heavyweights: Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the Prophets, the Martyrs, and the great Ministers – in addition to those lesser-known luminaries whose great lives are only found off the beaten path of notoriety.
Instead, I mentioned Coach Roy. I talked a little bit about his background (his education and playing days) as well as his career (his role during desegregation and personal longevity), not to mention the impact he had upon generation after generation of young who passed under his care. I tried to keep it brief but could not help but notice that I had greedily consumed most of the remaining quarter of the hour.
My colleagues did not seem to mind too much and one of them even mentioned that I should write a book about him. I was caught off guard by the simplicity of the idea, and could not believe that I had not even considered doing so myself. I played it off and deflected the complimentary tone of the idea but `neath this humble facade I was already stewing over such a consideration.
…Later, during the few quiet moments of my Luncheon break, I sifted this initiative further – pondering over how such a project might be approached and executed. Moreover, I wondered if I would even be appropriate an author or if my former mentor would even welcome this sort of an exposition of his life within the public domain. Though he was always gladly at the disposal of his students, he was still a rather private man.
Would I consent to a former student of mine authoring an account of my life? Well, it would certainly depend on the student but most likely I would have to say no.
Perhaps I could write one for myself and simply not publish the work?
Ah ha… now there`s an idea.