That’s how empathy works –
One of the wonderful things about life is that we can grow boundlessly through the love and support of the people we know.
Not only that, but through enriching and diversifying our social circle,
We become exposed to all sorts of life stories, and varied experiences, which in turn allow us to better understand our own journey.
It allows us to feel for the people around us, while also teaching us some valuable lessons along the way, and exposing us to situations we wouldn’t have previously considered. All in all, getting to know new people on a regular basis is a helpful and vastly enriching experience.
But what if you could take that a step further?
After all, the number of people we get to know intimately will always be limited. You might be a pop star with good friends and acquaintances across the Globe, and come into contact with loads of people everyday. But most of us only have a handful of real friends to help us along the way.
In the past, this also meant we were exposed to fewer life stories and got to hear about a limited amount of experiences from our circle. Now, however, through the magic of the Internet, the number of people you can get to know is infinite.
That’s the essence of Your Everyday Heroes, a heartwarming online campaign designed to shed some light on the lives of extraordinary people all around you. The idea behind this wonderful campaign is that anyone can be (and is) an unsung hero. Heroes, as a popular saying goes, don’t always wear capes.
Sometimes, they wear a mechanic’s overalls.
Sometimes, they’re sporting the dusty, yet colorful attire of a street graffiti artist.
Who knows, one day, they might even be wearing your clothes. Because, in the view of Your Everyday Heroes, anyone is a hero. For YEH, someone might be a hero in spite of some physical impediment, or might have risen to lead a content and socially enriching life in the face of adversity. Because the truth is, everyone’s encountered some sort of road block, be it physical, mental, behavioral, or just plain bad luck.
Of course, being a hero isn’t just about personal triumph. Rather, it’s about finding a way to thrive and rise up for the common good. These are people who succeed not just on a personal level despite their difficult circumstances, but also ones who manage to enrich their environment, and improve life for those around them, and for society as a whole through their presence. That is truly a remarkable gift, one that not many people are born with.
“Heroes are those who, even when afflicted by dire conditions, find ways to make sacrifices for the common good.”
–Your Everyday Heroes mission statement
What Your Everyday Heroes is trying to tell us is – you don’t get to pick and choose the circumstances in which your life takes place. But what you do with the hand you’re dealt, that’s completely up to you.
Not only does Your Everyday Heroes offer these individuals a voice, but they also shine a spotlight on their work. For instance, many of the heroes featured in their Hero Showcases are artists of some type or another, and what Your Everyday Heroes is doing is offering these people a launch pad. It’s not just an inspirational article online, but rather a full-on feature.
They will tell someone’s story, while also featuring ads, as well as showcasing that individual’s art, as we will see below. Your Everyday Heroes shows us just how these people are getting to live their best lives, what they’re creating, and who inspires them.
But perhaps the best way for you to understand what we’re talking about would be to get a taste of what Your Everyday Heroes is about for yourself. Why should we tell you how great these guys are, when you could be seeing it for yourself?
Let’s turn our attention to some of the inspirational, empowering stories that, through much research and toil, Your Everyday Heroes are telling.
Umar Mughal – “an abnormal man leading a normal life”
One of the first stories to catch your eye on the YEHD homepage is that of Umar Mughal, a 28-year-old graphic designer from Lahore, Pakistan. Umar’s life has not been, by any means, an easy one.
Born suffering from a rare disease called osteogenesis imperfecta, Umar has not allowed his disability to stand in the way of his dreams. Typically, a person with this disorder will have weaker bones than his peers, which means they break more easily, and also prevents them from forming properly. This means that, despite the natural progression of time, and despite the natural mental and emotional development going on inside the body, most people with this disease (in a similar stage to Umar’s) have significant difficulty living unassisted, and must rely on copious amounts of aid and physical therapy.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, there is no known cure for osteogenesis imperfecta.
Aside from the affliction itself, one of the biggest challenges that Umar has had to face has been the stigma typically associated with disability. When people see Umar, they immediately rely on some preconceived notions about illness and physical disability to create a picture of him in their mind.
But as it turns out, when one gets to know Umar, as Your Everyday Heroes did, this distorted image couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, Umar is one of the most uplifting, clever, funny, and inspirational individuals one could ever hope to meet. Aside from running his own thriving career as a graphic designer, Umar also dreams of helping people in need. His hope is that someday, he will be able to open a physical therapy home to assist those in similar situations to his own. Knowing what it means to put up with prejudice as well as physical hardship, Umar is dedicated fully to giving back, and building a better, more inclusive Pakistan.
There is so much more to Umar Mughal’s story, which we invite you to read in full on Your Everyday Heroes.
Amanda McCarthy – Walking Away From Depression
Another fascinating everyday hero showcase you’ll find is the story of Amanda McCarthy, a young mother struggling with bipolar disorder. Though life was hard enough on its own, the last straw for Amanda was when she was told that not only was she struggling with mental illness, but her small baby was on the autism spectrum.
At this point, Amanda’s existence had reached an all-time low, and she rapidly plunged into a dark pit of hopelessness, and depression.
Relating yet? As a side note, that’s what’s so great about Your Everyday Heroes. Not only are they presenting stories from around the world that you wouldn’t get to hear otherwise, but they are showing us things that are relatable. Like Amanda, many people struggle with mental illness, and pretty much everyone has hit rock bottom at some point. So, how do you get up from there?
For Amanda, the trick was simply walking away from depression, and all those other bad feelings that were messing her up. If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not. Amanda came to hiking through a completely random accident – one day, she just started walking. Sometimes, all you need is a good, long walk. Or several.
It was while walking that Amanda felt like she was no longer defined by her depression, that she could move away from the narrow, restrictive hole she found herself in.
Today, Amanda is in an infinitely better place, one she’s consolidating with every step she takes. And like Umar, Amanda focuses not just on solving her own problems, overwhelming as they may be, at times, but also on giving back, and helping others. Nowadays, Amanda runs her very own urban hiking group, which is aimed at people who, like her, are at the bottom, and don’t know how to get back out, again.
To put it simply, Amanda McCarthy’s shining light on a road less traveled by. To read Amanda’s full story, visit her everyday hero showcase here.
Vick Lee – Creating and Empowering Black Voices
Vick Lee is yet another everyday hero that we loved reading about. A young filmmaker from Chicago, Vick Lee has been making movies, and immersing herself in the cinematic universe from a very young age.
As a child, Vick knew that cinema was the road to go, and eventually, she found herself pursuing her film career at the prestigious Columbia College Chicago, and then proceeded to make a name for herself as one of the most prominent Black creators on the film scene today.
But Vick isn’t just “making movies”. Through her innovative productions, she’s telling stories of love, conflict, rage, and identity from a socially conscious perspective. Her productions are as much focused on empowering Black voices and shining light on diversity, as they are on telling a good story. In her own words, Vick wants to see herself on film, not just a random story that she can’t identify with.
Aside from doing a truckload of good work to empower young Black women (in particular), Vick is also fighting her own personal battle. In November of 2020, Vick’s life took an unforeseen and devastating turn when she received a Stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis.
Now, such grim news would normally be enough to turn anyone’s world upside down, but through natural temerity, and gutsy attitude, Vick Lee refused to be defined by her diagnosis. Rather than allowing cancer to bring her to heel, she now fights and works harder than ever to continue telling the stories that have consumed her all her life.
As one of Your Everyday Heroes, Vick Lee is determined to make the most of her time, and give 100% to change our world for the better. In a time when most would be focused solely on their own wellbeing, Vick Lee is laser-focused on figuring out a way to make our society better, and to empower, help, and entertain other people. We highly encourage you to read the full extent of Vick Lee’s inspiring story.
Your Everyday Heroes – a source of hope in a sea of despair
Maybe we’re being a tad over-dramatic in describing life as a sea of despair, but let’s face it, life has never been easy. We’ve all been faced with our own fair share of difficulty, hardship, injustice, stigma, abuse, and mental health issues that have marred our existence on this earth enough as it is.
We believe that one of the best, most sure-fire ways to combat adversity is to just look around yourself. By immersing yourself in stories as the ones above, you get to see the “glass is half full” side of this life.
Through every single showcase, Your Everyday Heroes are telling us that yes, life can be unfair, and often will be, but that we can rise above that. Stories like Vick’s, Umar’s, or Amanda’s remind us that we don’t need to be defined by our misfortunes and disabilities, be they physical, emotional, mental, or all three.
The really great thing, as we see it, about Your Everyday Heroes is that they’re reminding us that nobody’s life is perfect. That everyone is struggling out there, and that it’s normal to do so. It can be all too easy to convince yourself that your life is particularly difficult, and everyone else has got it easy.
But when you boil right down to it, that’s just not true. Everyone’s struggling with their own inner demons and impediments. Pretty much everyone in this world might’ve been dealt a slightly better hand than the one they’re playing currently, but they weren’t. Yet, they made it work, anyway.Because in life, we don’t always succeed because of all the good things, but rather, in spite of all the bad. Your Everyday Heroes remind us that we can all be heroes. And not just for a day, as David Bowie once sang, but for good.