My heroes

Posted by Clicksy | Posted in My blog | Posted on 24-12-2011

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I’ve done a post about my superstars, people that have achieved fame by doing some amazing and unique things.  Now I’m going to write about my heroes, which I see more as people who have qualities I admire.  Nobody’s perfect, but these people spend every day doing amazing things that are very unappreciated in our society.    Yet, without them, we wouldn’t have much of a society at all.

My peanut butter balls

My brother in law is a fantastic baker.  He makes some seriously yummy and unique treats around Christmas, yesterday he brought over some chocolate covered peanut butter balls (pictured).  It’s a family recipe that probably had a bit of his own added touch.  I’ve told him a couple of times that he should open up a bakery, he would make a fortune.  Some of the things that he makes are very unique, and there are people around here that would pay big money for his treats at parties.  His response is usually that he just likes baking around the holidays.  He’s a local Police Officer.  I know he must be a pretty good one, when I’m in town and I tell people my name, they don’t give me a dirty look or anything.

Through the years I’ve had a whole lot of people tell me what I should be doing to make more money.  Yet I chose to work in several fields, learning as much as I could that I found interesting, enjoyable, and meaningful.  I didn’t choose to do the things that would make me wealthy, in fact, quite the opposite.  I’ve come across a lot of people that were completely boggled by my career choices.

I read somewhere, or maybe I saw it on a movie, paraphrased, “Just because I have big boobs doesn’t mean I have to be a stripper”.  That’s not to say I’ve shunned high pay, everyone’s ideal should be to find something that they enjoy and allows them to be financially comfortable - or at least able to get by.  I’ve enjoyed the variety of what I’ve done, but have always gravitated to those that I’ve found more meaningful.  If I believed for a second my brother in law would be happier with a bakery, I’d keep pestering him.

My stuff

The bottom line is that money really never made me happy.  Buying ‘stuff’ just means having more responsibilities.  I don’t know about you, but having more responsibilities never made me happy.  We used to have a big old house.  It was roomy and we filled it up with stuff.  That translated into more expenses, more dusting and cleaning, and more stuff we ended up having to get rid of, pack up, or store when we moved.  My husband and I always wanted a boat, but we knew we wouldn’t have been able to use it very much.  We’ve had a few chances but always passed them up.  Boats are expensive to own and require a lot of work - a big responsibility.  Maybe if we had millions and we could pay someone to take care of it for us.  More people seem to be gravitating towards this way of thinking these days, but I’m not sure most of them have been able to pin down exactly what it means…

My turning point

This thinking began in college when I started taking marketing classes.  Though I don’t use it much, I’m glad I took them.  It’s changed my way of thinking.  I’ll tell you a little secret… did you know marketing’s entire goal is to make you believe you need their product or service to be happy?  I bet you did, but I bet you still quote commercials.

Marketing and advertising has convinced most Americans that in order to be happy, they have to be rich consumers.  This isn’t a convenient effect of clever commercials and ads, it’s the entire goal.  When you watch a commercial, you are allowing yourself to be manipulated and, ideally, brainwashed.  People think I’m strange because when they ask if, “I’ve seen that commercial…” my inevitable answer is, “no!”  But it’s so inconceivable that someone hasn’t seen a commercial that most people inevitably end up asking me the question repeatedly… sometimes days or months later, sometimes in the same conversation.

I watch DVDs, netflix, etc. I’ve only have seen a few current commercials.  Usually they precede a YouTube video or some other free online content I’m watching.  Those don’t make me quite as angry,  they’re not force fed, I can easily work in another window.  But in order to get free music or other content, I don’t mind ignoring a commercial.  I have no problem with advertising in newspapers either, though magazines have started having more ads than editorial content.  I think this is a big part of why some people see me as being well educated, though informally.  I don’t spend my nights sitting in front of the television.  When I’m not puttering around the house, I’m in front of the computer.  Some may say that’s just as bad, but I don’t just play games - I interact, explore, and learn.  I do think games are fantastic and expect I will be posting about that in the near future.

My everyday heroes

My family and friends include stay at home mothers, teachers, farmers, people in sales, and more.  There are people that don’t enjoy their jobs much, but stay there so they can provide for their families.  There are retirees that love babysitting their grand kids.  I could keep going, but you get the idea.  These are the types of people that are my heroes.  They’re not all perfect, nor are all my friends and relatives people I would consider my heroes.

Police Officer is a meaningful career.  My brother in law probably won’t get rich doing it, but he keeps us safe.  Not just the people in town, but also his friends and family.  They get a lot of heat for doing their jobs, it’s by no means easy work.  The officers that are jerks make the rest of them look bad and seem to be the only ones that get publicity.  Their daily interactions are frequently difficult from the start, most people are immediately defensive.  Of course, this contributes to more officers being jerks.  Most of us have had plenty of interactions with officers, usually they’re pretty mild, traffic offenses and that type of thing.  I always try to be nice.  But on a bad day, someone getting snarky with me after they just put someone in danger with bad driving, I wouldn’t be too nice either.

My heroes are not all every day people.  Many are people who have excelled despite what society would call their ‘limitations’.  They’ve accomplished important things and contributed greatly to society.

My famous heroes

The first list includes people that have been ‘diagnosed’ with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.  Not because I have it, I don’t think I do.  But it’s amazing to me how many kids these days are placed in this category.  Their parents are told they have a problem, and in many cases, that the kids need to be drugged.  I do believe people with ADD/HD are different.  But I don’t believe they have a problem.  When I was a kid, I didn’t much like sitting in a desk for 7 hours a day either.  Here’s ADD/HD the list:

Here is a brief sample of this elite group. Albert Einstein, John Kennedy, John Lennon, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Muhamed Ali, Henry Ford, Robin Williams, Louis Pasteur, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Bruce Jenner, Beetoven, Werner von Braun, Michael Phelps, George C. Scott, Magic Johnson, Steve McQueen, Terry Bradshaw, Steve Jobs, and Carl Lewis to name just a few.


A video I watched recently put it very eloquently (if I find it again I’ll link it here).  The speaker said, paraphrased: “If Steve Jobs parents had taken him to school as a child today, they would have wanted to drug him up!”  Steve Jobs had ADD/HD.  But his parents saw that he had unique talents and encouraged them.  He was different.  That doesn’t have to be a problem, it can be a launching point to an extraordinary life.  It just depends on how you look at it.

Ann Purdy is a snowboarder who lost both of her legs - but carried on and achieved her dreams (video below).

Brian Wilson, a founding member of the Beach Boys, is bipolar.

Abraham Lincoln had incapacitating depression.

Stephen Hawking developed completely incapacitating ALS, but continued his academic work and became known as one of the greatest minds of our time.

There are some interesting links regarding influential people who weren’t considered ‘normal’ below.


Disabled-world:  A list of some famous and well known people with various disabilities and conditions including actors, politicians and writers who contributed to society.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):  “People with Mental Illness Enrich Our Lives”

Wikipedia: List of people with bipolar disorder  The link between genius and mental illness - Gifted, successful people with depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders



Amy Purdy - Living Beyond Limits


Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness


Gary Vaynerchuk: Do what you love (no excuses!)


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