If, like me, you’re disgusted by today’s celebrity-oriented society in which actors, athletes, and models or other celebrities are heroes simply because they’re famous, I have some refreshing news for you: true heroism is not dead. It’s just simply been ignored.
I want to share with you a heroic story, though the story ends tragically.
On June 8th, Michael Peterson, of Rome, Georgia, noticed a small girl having trouble staying afloat in a nearby creek. Regardless of personal safety, he dove head-first into the creek to save her. I’m not sure what, if any, part he had in rescuing the young girl, as neither article I’ve read really explains if he was able to help. What happened, though the girl was saved and resuscitated, is Patterson broke his neck while diving into the creek. His spinal cord was severed about half-way down his back, and he was left paralyzed from the chest down.
Amazingly, that was the second time in a two-week span Patterson had heroically saved another’s life. Two weeks prior Patterson had helped pull a man from a truck which had caught fire after an accident.
Why am I bringing this to your attention? Simple. You don’t hear about news like this any more. The media is always doing it’s best to strike fear into you or shamelessly beat to death any story that will upset you or demoralize you. They are all about ratings. There is no journalistic integrity any more. At least, not from the major media outlets. I no longer watch the news. The news, at least here, is nothing but a recap of police reports from the night before. A murder. A robbery. A fire. A fatal car accident. A rape. Politics. It’s ridiculous. There’s good news to be had out there but they won’t report it because people don’t want to fucking see it.
My faith in humanity is not completely dead yet, in part due to people like Patterson, who are few and far between. Sadly, Patterson succumbed to his injuries yesterday. That does not diminish the fact that he was a heroic person and that stories like this should make the news. We should all aspire to dive in head first to help a stranger. This world could use more kindness and compassion of this type. The world could use a lot more people like Mike Patterson.
Rest in peace, Michael. You are truly a hero in my book.