There is an awards show in Germany that is, for this country, as big as the Oscars. There are award categories for best actor, best film – but also for aspects like most impressive leader, or best environmental initiative. One touching award at the ceremony on November 10 was for ‘silent heroes’ – three unusual people were honored with it:
One is a cook who spends almost every free minute at a children’s hospice, trying to ‘bring a smile to the faces of these terminally ill children’.
The second is a married mother of three who serves as a surrogate mom to babies given up directly after birth in a so-called ‘baby flap’ (drop-off box). She has already nursed eight babies, each for two months, until each baby could be adopted. Her family supports her in this 24/7 job. She just wants to “be the mom to them that each one of these babies deserves to have”.
The third is a rocker who ‘used to solve problems with my fists – now I solve them with my heart’. After losing his own young wife to cancer at the age of 28, he convinced his motorcycle gang to create and operate with him an adventure park for sick and disabled children – there is even a tree house with wheelchair access!
These three silent heroes are volunteers – coincidentally, 2011 was the European Union’s Year of Volunteering. Our societies could not exist without the giving spirit of volunteers – giving generously of our time, our skills, our dedication … our hearts.
Li Edelkoort, one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters, has predicted the end of Western-style individualism, and a (re-)turn to a communal sense of identity.
Here’s wishing you a peaceful end of the year and a caring start into 2012 — Season’s Greetings