True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
– Arthur Ashe
If you’re reading this, there’s a fair chance that you’re one of the heroes I’m writing about. If not, it’s almost certain that you know one of those heroes.
My childhood heroes were Duke Snider and Roy Rogers, reflecting my love for baseball and my ambition to become a cowboy. As I grew up I realized that I wasn’t going to become a great baseball player nor a famous singing cowboy. (Regarding the latter, I was already disillusioned when I found out from my grandfather that cowboys herded cattle.I thought their job was to shoot at and arrest bad guys.)
I don’t miss those heroes because over the last several years I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the true unsung heroes of the 21st century.
The way we choose to see the world creates the world we see.
– Barry Neil Kaufman
There are a lot of these heroes. I doubt any of them has climbed the center field wall in Connie Mack Stadium to catch a fly ball, nor do I know any who opened a chain of restaurants. These are a different and more important kind of hero.
Crowds have not applauded them, nor have hungry consumers made them rich. These heroes have done far more than that.
These heroes face never ending challenges, long difficult days, difficult bureaucratic obstacles, most have given up vacations and other perks, many have given up necessities and made other sacrifices, and some make due with half their usual family income because they had to stop working.
They have become experts, advocates, spokes-people, supporters of each other.
Each of them demonstrates the wonder and power of unconditional love.
Since Judy and I founded Creative I’ve had the privilege of meeting with and getting to know thousands of these heroes.
Some of you are these heroes, though I know your modesty prevents you from thinking of yourself that way.
So I hope this tribute doesn’t embarrass you. I hope it inspires you, as you as you inspire me and all of us here at Creative.
You, the parents and caregivers of children with special needs, you are our heroes. And we’re lucky enough to be able to know you and work with you and serve you.
Behind every child who believes in himself is a parent who believed first.
– Matthew Jacobson
— Richard Feingold, Co-founder