Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?  In 1968, Simon & Garfunkel released the song “Mrs. Robinson” and it was included in the famous movie, “The Graduate”.  One of the more notable lines in the song is “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you”.  DiMaggio, the star baseball player and former husband to Marilyn Monroe was already retired in 1968. Years later he met Paul Simon and asked why that line appeared in the song.  DiMaggio was heard telling Simon that he didn’t go anywhere. Simon explained that he considered DiMaggio a hero and heroes were in short supply. 50 years later, we are still in short supply of heroes.

Remember the Heroes:  Our society tends to idolize famous people, which is probably why they think that their opinion matters to us.  I am sure they feel justified since they have more Facebook friends and Twitter and Instagram followers than you do.  But they are flawed as we all are, and in the internet age everything gets captured in a picture or video. Famous people also talk and Tweet too much, so criticism flows quickly.  We know too much about everyone and we live in a culture where people love to tear others down. Heroes will eventually disappoint us and frequently a person is lauded as a hero and villain simultaneously.  It’s difficult to find a hero that everyone can agree on, I don’t think we will.

Ordinary Time:  But there are heroic acts.  Especially ones that don’t require you to be big, or strong, or young, or smart or brave.  Ordinary behavior, by ordinary people, can turn out to be extraordinary. The ones that most people never notice or get reported in the news.  Small acts of kindness and caring do matter. Some examples:

           -A friendly smile to a stranger

-Putting someone else’s needs before your own, even if it’s just for a few hours

           -Calling someone who you suspect is lonely, just to say hello

-Praying for someone who is sick or hurting

-Helping your kids with their homework or their overhand volleyball serve

-Sending a thank-you card, the old fashioned way, hand written and sent through the mail

-Telling the truth when it is inconvenient

-Giving someone an inexpensive gift for no specific reason

-Cleaning up after yourself even though you know your Mom will do it for you

           -Just listening when that’s all the other person really wants you to do

I could go on and on.  Do something good that no one will notice.  It’s worth a try.