Ralph Zuranski Newspaper Writer, Photographer and Videographer

The First “In Search Of Heroes” Article Published in the Coronado Eagle Newspaper in 1993

What is a Hero or Heroine? How does one arrive at this exalted position? According to “Big Brain,” my talking “Franklin Language Master,” the attributes are the same for both sexes. Heroes are individuals admired for their achievements and qualities. They especially demonstrate the courage to conquer fear or despair. Where are the Heroes of today, when the world needs them so desperately?

Are we the audience and the major news media equally responsible for the lack of publicity for Heroes? Have you ever wondered, “Why is there such a focus on traumatic, violent and frightening events?” Does a steady diet of this material perpetuate fear and despair?

Do we experience a vicarious thrill from the misfortune of others? Are our senses dulled, ethics corrupted and morals so jaded we require greater quantities of violence and shocking events to stimulate our interest? I still remember when one murder caused social outrage and community activism!

Too many people today are apprehensive, frightened by things beyond the edges of perception. They are afraid of many things. Riots, wars, terrorist acts and natural catastrophes are increasing in frequency and intensity.

Physical and emotional abuse, chronic diseases, financial failure affect every family to different degrees. The consequences of unremitting fear just don’t go away by themselves. The quality of life decreases dramatically when all hope is lost. Something positive must be done. A solution is to locate and publicize real-life Heroes in these fearful and perilous times.

The tremendous need for inspiration and positive role models increases exponentially with each horrific act and devastating event. Experts believe a factor of ten times as much positive stimulus is required to overcome one negative event.

How many people are desirous of reading and seeing uplifting articles about people triumphing over human trials, tribulations, and misery? Are there any real-life Heroes laboring to help solve the immense social and environmental problems facing humanity?

I believe the answer is an emphatic yes! Heroes are everywhere! They are ordinary people determined to serve and help others; to make the world a better place. Daily, across the face of the earth, people willingly assist family members, friends, and strangers. They compassionately minister to the injured, poor and sick. They Help Enthusiastically, Responsibly, Optimistically, Exceptionally and Socially (HEROES), with no fanfare, demand for recognition or public acclaim. These humble people of every race demonstrate the loftiest qualities of humanity.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” True unconditional love is helping and serving others without expectation of return. This is heroism at its most intimate and beneficial level. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love there is life…”

All societies need Heroes to rise up and be recognized. The light of their actions should be publicized by local television and print media. These extraordinary, ordinary people are an inspiration to others. They are a catalyst for beneficial change in their communities.

The time has come that people must concentrate on the good in each person, rather than the evil that plagues our world. Children and teenagers desperately need to learn about those who reach out and beneficially touch the lives of others and those less fortunate.

Victor Hugo once shared, “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” A group of individuals concerned about the minimal amount of media coverage for real-life Heroes is creating a “In Search Of Heroes Program” for teenagers. Ralph Zuranski, a former Special Features writer for the “Coronado Eagle Newspaper,” is looking for promising young writers and journalism mentors for them to go out into their communities in search of local Heroes.

Just as “Superman” was accompanied by “Jimmy Olsen,” these cub reporters will help locate the Heroes, conduct the interview and contribute their thoughts and impressions. The finished product will then be submitted to newspapers, magazines, television stations and published on the In-Search-Of-Heroes website that is in the final developmental stages.

Hopefully, the news media will publish and broadcast these stories. The goals of the program will be to:

1.        Identify and praise local Heroes.

2.        Educate people about Heroes and heroic action.

3.        Inspire young people to want to become Heroes.

4.        Help young writers and photographers develop and perfect their writing skills.

5.        Receive published credit for their writing, art and photo contributions.

Extensive research has proven individuals often meet or exceed their own and other’s expectations. When children envision themselves as Heroes, heroic action is not far behind. Public recognition and concrete rewards for excellence are a wonderful incentive for young people. Every person can benefit by creating a Hero or Heroine within, to help them deal with the difficulties of life.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” The creators of the “In Search Of Heroes Program” have the desire to inspire young children to dream, to imagine themselves Heroes. These people are working hard to create vehicles for the dreams of teenagers to become reality. As in the book “Dune,” the dreamers must awaken. People need to believe they can make their dreams for global peace, joy, prosperity and love a universal experience. The heroic example of others is a prerequisite.

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” Dr. Albert Schweitzer. If you want more information about the “In Search Of Heroes Program,” contact Ralph Zuranski: 817-995-7998 “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” Demosthenes