It must have been instinct. Courage bred into his subconscious. Whatever the origin, it surfaced when it mattered.

His name is Stephen Raines. He is the hero in that outrageous videotaped beating of a Belleville high school student. He is the one who stepped forward...not once...but twice, ignored the blood thirsty cheering of his peers and stared down wrong.

He did what many others on that bus could have done...but didn't. That is how heroes are born. They DECIDE to take a stand. To act. To speak out. To make a change.

Perhaps, heroes garner our praise because each of us longs to star in our own narrative. But being a star demands great performances...when the camera is rolling. And when it is not.

Preparation for your star turn occurs during and doing the mundane. The clerk gave you too much change, do you keep it? Your job-hunting friend is less than honest on her resume. Do you ask her about the discrepancy? You and your colleagues are planning an after work event, but several of your co-workers want you to tell "Denise" it's been canceled. Will you?

Big-deal dilemmas? Yes...even when they don't appear to be because these are the decisions that litter the floor of life's training ground for courage. And there is a direct correlation between the age the indoctrination begins and results. The National Center for Courage and character in children offers help to parents, saying its goal is to: "improve the lives of children by nurturing their power to succeed in the face of adversity".

What we watched unfold on that video shocked and outraged many. But look closely and also be the courage of one. And ask yourself...would the hero in you have done the same?

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