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A Hero With Heart
“THREE! TWO! ONE! It’s over!” cried the wrestling ref in the Smack Down Versus Raw 2008 video game. Back in reality, the father gracefully laid the controller to one of its many placesâ€”the floor. He had done what no average man could ever wish to accomplishâ€”he successfully lost! Although he lacked hours of game-play experience, the man still had that gaming ability to winâ€”and he knew it. But, he gave the boy, his son, a chance to bask in the glory of victory. As his son refused to hold back words from his victory “speech,” the father just stood there, happy that he could have the time to spend with his son and enhance the young boy’s day. A simple task, indeed, but it’s the simple things that made the man a true hero. This is but a day in the life of Brian Morris. A man whose optimism, faith in loved ones, journeys and flaws not only reflect his heroic character, but affect the lives of all he encounters.
Morris and I met several years back when I first became friends with his son, Jeremy Morris. But even prior to that point in my life, I knew him as a friendly neighbor, as he would show me several of his cool “toys” and incite my five year old mind. Today, we are still good friends. Not much has changed since I have known Morris, other than the fact that I am now taller than him! Morris still provides law enforcement and security officers to the Federal Protective Service, the U.S. Marshals, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the State Department. It is a pretty big job for only this one man, but he does it, and he does it right!
But, every heroâ€”yes, everyâ€”must have an optimistic attitude. When I asked Morris which trait he thought was his greatest he immediately replied “optimism.” In his response he said that he had a “can-do-attitude,” and that he would accept “nothing short of completing the mission.” I can attest to these statements, as well. When something had not gone according to plan, he always seemed to have a way to still put a smile back on our faces (and at the moment, if we weren’t smiling, we were probably laughing…or singing). Now, you may be wondering what optimism has to do with a hero. A hero, in general, makes something better. Optimism surely makes my days betterâ€”and more bearable…
But optimism alone cannot put the title to the man. For you see, optimism means nothing if you do not have anyone to display it towards, or anything to use it in conjunction with. Family is certainly one of the things Morris practices his optimism on, for his family’s happiness is his own. Not a day passes by without Morris thinking of his family. Whether he be on one of his long business trips to a far off country, or just hanging out with his friends, family is definitely somewhere on the mind. Caring for family is a fine example of a heroic trait. Just look at Odysseusâ€”if he had not the memory of his family to grasp to on Calypso’s Island, he may have remained there for eternity.
Putting Morris in the same situation as Odysseus, he responded, “Again, he used family. I think I’d use God and family.” Faith, like Odysseus, in both family and friends, is a key factor in Morris’s life. He added that upon his return from the island, he would immediately head for his wife, two daughters, and son.
Morris noted comically, “Anyone who was actually sane [would go see their family first].” Personally, I believe the family aspect is a perfect addition to any hero because it shows that they have eternal love for something. I mean, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the family, and if you’re doing whatever you’re doing for a loved one, it has purposeâ€”meaning. If there is no dedication to your actsâ€”other than the dedication to yourselfâ€”then your acts are no longer heroism. Instead, they may be called acts of greed, or acts of selfishness.
In life, some may claim that the journey is the important factor, while others persist in saying that it is truly the result that has any real meaning. To Morris, both are of equal importance. He agrees that all his life has been an odyssey, just as Odysseus’s had.
“It is a journey,” said Morris, “from the day you are born, to the day you die…with road blocks, mountains, and thrills. But with faith, there is no obstacle that cannot be overcome.” And if simple, everyday life does not seem to “float your boat” on adventurous odysseys like those of myth, then the travels he has endured will. Heroes, although not all, tend to travel to exotic lands. This was especially so with Odysseus, the epic hero of The Odyssey. In the same way, Morris travels to various countries when his job asks of himâ€”and according to the man himself, “fourteen separate countries.”
But no matter how wise or intelligent anyone may be, they always have flawsâ€”but these flaws help shape the character…the person. Why, what if Morris lacked his weakness for ice cream?!? Or perhaps, he no longer possessed that “weakness” of helping those in need? I doubt I would even be here typing this essay if it were not for his help.
He easily had something better to doâ€”business, I would assume. But he took the time out of his day to sit down and talk to me for what may have been fifteen to forty minutes of his day. Believe me, any amount of time is valuableâ€”especially if it’s not even your own! But still, he did it, ungrudgingly. That, I believe, takes true effort. A true mark of a hero!
So, perhaps you still believe that heroes are people who draw attention to themselves and perform super-human feats. Well, I for one can tell you that you will not see a man flying around your town wearing a cape, blocking bullets with his body. The true heroes are those right in front of you, the ones you have been looking so hard to find that you have missed! True heroes are those that lose a video game just to please you! Simply put, the heroes that are the best of the best do simple deeds. So, sure, today Jeremy may claim the title as the New World Wrestling Champ, but if Morris is the optimistic, faithful, journey ridden, perfectly flawed human I know he is, he will be back to play another match and take the belt with him! Simple acts can be taken and mistaken as irrelevant. But I have learned that in the end, it’s the small things that count.
Wanting to learn why he does such small tasks I questioned “Why do you do the things you do?”
The hero concluded “Family. Reason enough.”