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Everyday Heroes: RICHIE PARKER

November 1, 2013

There are all kinds of Everyday Heroes—those who save lives, those who risk or sacrifice their own lives in defense of others, and those who, through their own example, inspire others to be heroic. Although most people go through their entire lives without being or even knowing someone who saves another’s life or sacrifices his/her own life for another, we all know many people—many Everyday Heroes—who are inspirational. But I challenge you to come up with anyone as inspirational as Richie Parker.

If Richie Parker were to exhibit one moment of self-pity or if he were to use his condition as a reason to become a dependent of the state, I suspect each and every one of us would say, “I understand.” Except,  Richie would never even consider feeling sorry for himself or relying on others to support him.

During an NFL game last Sunday, I heard a play-by-play commentator say, “Now, that’s a real man.” The  player he referred to was a 300-pound lineman who had just pancaked an opponent. My first thought was to wonder what all the 150-pound men who had tuned in to the game thought about themselves.

Did they have to be human versions of Kobe cattle to be considered “men”?  The commentator, and too damned many people in our society, look up to pumped-up, steroid freaks as men, and rarely think of the average Joe who goes to work every day, who struggles to support his family, who loves his country, who works a lifetime to earn a fraction of what that “real man” makes in one season of play.

Then I received an email from a friend with a link to a story about Richie Parker, and I quickly learned the definition of a “real man.” I encourage you to watch the video and think seriously about what makes a “real man.” Consider what you would do under Richie’s circumstances. Think about the human spirit. And then adjust your definition of what makes an Everyday Hero.




Joseph Badal is the author of six thrillers, including The Lone Wolf Agenda (Danforth Saga #4), which was eleased on June 25, 2013. His next thriller, Ultimate Betrayal, will be released in 2014.


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2013 5:40 pm

    You did it again, Joe, but this time you knocked the ball out of the park! What an incredible young man, and what a great family he has!!

  2. November 3, 2013 10:10 am

    Thank you so much for the video, Joe. What a demonstration of the Spirit in each of us. I went on to watch another video about a man with no arms and no legs. He’s incredible too Here’s a link: Maybe these people are coming forward to help us all to believe in ourselves, no matter what the circumstances. Great find, Joe!

  3. November 9, 2013 9:37 pm

    Not only is Richie Parker a hero, but his parents are true heroes as well. Their loving acceptance of his condition and their unfailing encouragement are truly inspiring.

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