Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home Town Heroes

 A Brief Background

Home Town Heroes is (HH) the working title of a new book that features local everyday folk and even a few  household names. The book features a group of Columbus natives that meet our Hero criteria. (Many heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinarily actions) Each individual will receive a short list of questions followed by an interview about their life story.

The first decade of my role as a social worker I learned that the single most powerful intervention in an individual’s life was finding work that was deeply fulfilling and it paid “real money.” I was bored with acquiring stressful jobs with titles that all sounded the same. 

That year I read a book by Daniel Pink called A Whole New Mind which described our new paradigm of working and life style. The combination of my past work, reading Dan Pinks’ book started to free me up to redefine my work acquiring  by first identifying a the portable job role that could capture all my skills and talents. Community Action Hero David Yorka emerged as a job role container that is just the right size for my Vocational Identity.Initially I resisted this title at first and then embraced it  under the professional guidance of local Brain-StormerDon “The Idea Guy” Snyder
Both Don and I saw a direct connection between the comic book superheroes superpowers and the skills, talents and fascinations that everyone has inside them. It is referred to by a small group of career professionals as one’s Internal Job Description – our personal mission, calling or vocation that we can use to change the lives of others. 

Superman fictional character, a comic book superhero widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in ClevelandOhioSports superstars and show business figures are often cited as heroes however they do not feel as deeply rooted in our group mind as the classic comic superheroes; Superman (created in 1932) Batman (1939) Spiderman (1962) and this year’s surprise box office blockbuster Ironman (1963) who was conceived by comic book legend Stan Lee. The heroes that change the world are as we know; the real-life human heroes are parents, friends, family and others who have come to us in a time of need.

As the definition of work and career continue to expand and change at a rapid pace there are more and more young men and boys that are lost in a fog of confusion and fear for lack of the right tools and support. When a student comes to class "unable to learn" with  no dreams to pursue when they leave school there is a "brain drain"(down instead of out) of a different kind.

Today many movies, graphic novels and other superhero fare contain a more “adult” content with added complexity and have evolved as our larger culture has progressed. I believe that beneath the escapism our superheroes represent a truly American interpretation of the mythology of ancient Rome, Greece, Asia and other cultures that have used super-human characters in fantastic stories that provided basic human principals and tales to enrich or explain the true nature of mankind.

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