It’s easy to feel small when faced with the enormity of the world’s problems. We wonder if our lone voice matters. Naturally, we feel fear or helplessness. And yet, we see remarkable people who seem destined to do whatever it takes to protect others. Those people give us hope.
We’ve seen good Samaritans pull a baby from a burning car, rescue a deer caught in a fence, or come together in the wake of a flood or earthquake to help neighbors. Sometimes such people face extraordinary risk and even death to rescue total strangers. How can they do that?
Being in ski patrol and arriving at chaotic scenes that involved serious injury taught me something interesting about people. Some freeze. Some run away. And then there are those who sprint—sometimes literally—into the fire. I say that not to praise one reaction over the other because these are all valid survival strategies. After all, it’s smart to run from danger. It’s smart for a fawn to hide motionless in the tall grass to protect itself from predators. And those who run in to stop the threat are making every effort to ensure survival for themselves and others. Survival training teaches: Run, Hide, and if you have no other option… Fight.
Over the years, I’ve been in some hairy situations from facing off with a gunman who threatened to shoot everyone in the building to performing first aid in the middle of a busy highway to save a man hit by a car. What can be said about all well-meaning people—whether they run to get help, stand out of the way so rescuers have access, or step in and take the risks to save others is that they care about life. As for Kate Bowers, we know where she stands. As you get to know her in Kill Notice and Island of Bones, you’ll discover that even when she is given the opportunity to save herself, she inevitably stays in the fight to protect others. That is important for each of us. One of the most satisfying things about a hero like Kate Bowers, Jack Reacher, or Harry Bosch is that they risk it all to do what we wish we could do to make our world a better place. We all need a hero who will weather any storm to make things right.
It's all too easy to miss the truth that each of us is a hero in our own way. We all can make a significant difference in the lives of those around us by being thoughtful, kind, and by offering a helping hand.