Parents worry about role models. We worry about what our sons learn from superheroes. We worry about what our daughters learn from the Disney princesses. As they get older we worry about what they learn from Kanye West, Britney Spears, or even Joe Wilson. After all, these are the people who get all the attention. They're the ones who are on TV behaving badly and often even being rewarded for their boorishness.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, as parents we are more powerful than all the misbehaving professional athletes, actors, politicians and beauty queens combined, but only if we're present to share our own opinions with our children.
Still, it's nice to sometimes have examples of people getting attention for behaving in a truly heroic manner. For instance, when Mister Rogers was a boy his mother would urge him to "Look for the helpers," whenever they saw something frightening on the news; the firefighters, the police, the medics, the regular citizens.
Most of the real heroes, however, are not of the action variety. The cameras are not on them when they are doing their magnificent deeds because true heroism is often the work of years, or even a lifetime. But every now and then one of them gets caught on camera. In this case the hero is a 12-year-old girl addressing a UN conference on the environment. Please take the time to watch the whole video. This girl does what a hero should do -- inspire us to want to do great things.
Believe me, I've shared this with my child and it made her cry.