Celebrating Heroism

I’ve had this image in my head for a few years now, and as I’m writing a superhero book this year, I thought it an appropriate time to post on my blog for Patriot Day.

Now, I’m not normally one to reminisce or to be filled with sudden bouts of patriotism just because it’s a holiday. I spent nearly a decade in the military (9/11 was a big reason I joined), so I probably see these days of remembrance a bit differently from the general public. However, as part of writing SUPERPOWERED, I’ve been analyzing the nature of what it means to be a hero on just about a daily basis. Maybe that’s why the sacrifice of our first responders and soldiers has hit home a little more this year.

I’m not sure how many of you have seen the above picture before; probably quite a few. But take a look at it again, and maybe give a few seconds to consider what it means to put a total stranger’s well-being above your own. On my more cynical days, I tend to think the simplistic “Women  and Children First” should be updated to “Cancer Researchers and Nobel Laureates first” but there’s something powerful in putting value in another human being, simply because of that shared humanity. You don’t have to make the ultimate sacrifice to be a hero. Everyday heroism can be just as inspiring. And today, I hope to inspire a few of you to make a difference in everyday life.

Here’s how:

A while back, Amazon introduced their Smile Program.  Basically, whenever you shop on Amazon, if you enter “smile” instead of “www” in the web address, you may select a charity and Amazon will donate a small percentage of your purchase to that charity (at no cost to you). I use The Wounded Warrior Project for my purchases and I encourage you to do the same! This may only be a small “thank you” to those who’ve sacrificed their health for our freedoms, but if every Amazon shopper chooses to use the Smile Program, it can make a powerful difference. Obviously, there are numerous other ways to support charitable organizations, or even volunteer in your community, but I do most of my bookselling on Amazon so I wanted to help spread the word on this program.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank those of you who read my blog and books. After my time in the military I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, and it’s truly a gift to be typing away at my dream job day after day. I can’t say it enough: I’m only able to be a writer because you choose to be a reader! Thank you!

-James Schannep
11 September 2014


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