Friday, May 10, 2013

10-minute hero

10 Minute Hero:
Maybe you've heard of the 10-minute hero challenge. It goes something like this: you have 10 minutes, exactly 10 minutes, to transform yourself into a hero with whatever you have on hand. Then you get someone to take a picture.

 "Yeah, right," you say. "Do I look like a hero to you?"

Well, yeah.

See, in my way of thinking, you are a hero. Maybe I don't know you. Maybe you don't think you're very brave or heroic. Maybe you live a life of complete obscurity in a remote island, plotting to take over the world.

But you're someone's hero. Are you a parent or a child's guardian? Then you are sun, moon, and life a child. You are the one person standing between that kid and the universe. What about a pet owner? Same deal. You hung the moon in the sky.

No? Not a parent? Well get this. You're still the one person who stands between an ordinary citizen and disaster. You see, at some point, you'll have a moment of unrelenting awfulness.
Yes, you'll experience something in your life you JUST DON'T
WANT TO DEAL WITH. And you'll do it anyway.

Gee, thanks. Is this supposed to be a pep talk?

 See, we all live through tough times. It's part of being a person. But the fact that you take the time to deal with it makes you someone's hero--because when someone else goes through a bad time, they'll be able to look to you for an example. You survived. So can they.

"Sheesh, wearing my big-girl panties makes me a hero? I think you're confused, lady."

Okay, not convinced? How about this: Have you ever done something nice for someone?

We're each other's first line of defense. Humans are made to look after other humans--it's that instinct, the desire to run towards disaster, that baffles scientists and makes biologists scratch their heads. Altruism exists. And any time you help someone for no reason whatsoever, you're being someone's hero.

Maybe you don't feel like a hero. But just by smiling at a stranger, by letting someone in during rush hour, by tipping the kid who delivers your pizza an extra $5--you've just made someone's day. You've just made the world better for one single person. And that is how the world is made better.

"I'm never nice to strangers."

Well, you're a tough case, aren't you? But you just revealed something in your subtext: You're there for your friends. Let's make this perfectly clear: your friends are humans (or at least they pretend to be). By standing by them, you're a hero to them. Have any of your friends ever called you at midnight after a big breakup? Or been thinking about quitting something loved, and you talked that friend into keeping going? That's what a hero does.

You don't have to run into a burning building to make the world a better place. You're a hero just as you are: Someone who cares about other people, even when they can't do something for you in return. Someone who makes the world just a little better. That's what being a hero is all about.

So go prove your heroics. You have exactly 10 minutes. Assemble whatever is closest at hand and dress yourself as a superhero. Then get a roommate, cohabitant, or autotimer to take your picture.

What's your 10-minute hero name?

Sidekick kitty wonders if Superhero Wired has any
tuna up her sleeves.


  1. Sidekick kitty looks a lot like one of my moggie menagerie. I always wondered where she disappeared to :)

    Just stumbled on your blog while researching how to self publish and saw you'd found some of the same links to writing a business plan.

    1. Sidekick never did tell me her origin story (secret identity and all, she said... ;)

      Those were some great blogs on writing a business plan! Sarra Cannon also some great self-pub resources that are worth checking out. Good luck on your self-publishing endeavors!