While watching the news recently, I saw that it was Lieutenant Brian Murphy’s birthday. People from all different communities came out to see him and wish him well, thanking him for his service and praising his courage. Murphy, if you remember, was the first officer who responded to the Sikh temple shooting and risked his life to save others.
To me, and hundreds of others, Murphy is a true hero.
But I recently caught a glimpse of some more heroes. A few weeks ago, I found myself caught in a situation that made me feel overwhelmed and in way over my head. One student decided that life was too difficult and tried to end her life. However, she had second thoughts and immediately came to the counselors for help.
I was the initial person she told. I panicked, and immediately ran to get another counselor.
All of the counselors and administration reacted calmly. One counselor stayed with the student and me. One went to call the parent and inform him of the situation. The administration worked as a seamless team, organizing the easiest route for the paramedics and making sure the school’s staff was alerted. In the midst of all the chaos and adrenaline, I was in awe. Everyone was so calm and efficient. They knew exactly what to do.
I was still in overdrive and trying my hardest not to show my rising panic. This was my first real-life school crisis and I was terrified. At that point, I understood exactly what the older students had told me: It was one thing to learn about what to do in a bad situation; it was completely another thing to be in the middle of it.
Afterwards, my supervisor apologized unintentionally putting me in that position, and many of the counselors told me I did a great job. The counselor I had run to told me that I had helped save a student’s life and praised my actions.
It may be true that I had helped save her life, but I don’t believe I am a hero by any means. I may have helped, but I believe it was the counselors and administration that are the true heroes. They took charge of the situation and ensured that the student was safely taken to get medical attention.
This proves that there are other heroes too in this world, beyond the ones that we read about in comic books and see in movies. They are unsung heroes. They do not always get the public gratification. They do not ask for recognition. They simply go through the day, working to make sure the world is a safer place.
The situation at my school will never make the news. There will be no parades or days named in the staff’s honor. Days will go by and people will soon forget that the event occurred. But I know I won’t. For on that day, I caught a glimpse of true superheroes, dressed in everyday clothes, ready to make a difference in students’ lives.