April 22, 2007

Heroes


I rarely post twice in a week, but I've been stewing about another lost, young male shooter, the student from Virginia Tech. I'm still in shock. The more I take man-making seriously, the more I let myself actually feel the sadness and hurt from these too-frequent experiences. Each time this happens it also increases the responsibility I feel for the next lost boy I encounter, and that is a good thing. But that is not what this post is about.

Today I got a very helpful email from Antonello Vanni, a man-maker in Italy. He said, I think we should remember Professor Liviu Librescu because he's an example young people have to look at.

Antonello is right. In an age where you have to dig deep to find real public heroes . . . people of integrity, solid values, courage, compassion, and visibility in the world, Professor Librescu does stand out and should be held up for emulation. He was a brilliant, 76 year old, concentration camp survivor and husband and father, with everything to live for. Yet he didn't hesitate a minute to throw his body in front of the shooter as he attempted to enter his classroom to kill his students. His action saved many lives but cost him his own.

I have encountered many very good men (and women) engaged in man-making work. Indeed, they are my heroes and sheroes. But when someone like Professor Librescu shows up on the national media, it gives us all an opportunity to name his act and person heroic, and point that out to the young people around us.

Who are your national heroes? Whose leadership gives you hope? Could you so quickly choose to be heroic as Professor Librescu did in saving his student's lives?

Good questions to keep in mind as makers of men.

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