The Quiet Ones

We all have our semi-secret, less-known personal favorites — a great B-side, an early work by an artist that later became famous, an obscure (but delicious) family recipe. Share one of your unsung heroes with us — how did you discover it? Why has it stayed off everyone’s radar?


The world is full of noisy people. I’m afraid I’m one of them.  Not all the time, but now and then.  When I’ve accomplished something, I like to hear a little drumroll, you know?  If no one else will do that for me, I’ll figure out some way to make it happen 🙂

So my unsung heroes are the quiet folks who just go about their lives without needing a lot of applause.  Don’t get me wrong; I believe every single soul needs encouragement. We all need a little pat on the back now and then, a bouquet of words that acknowledge us in some way. I’m thinking, though, of people who truly do prefer to be in the backstage jobs, and for whom the audience never claps and cheers. They are the ones who make it possible for the stars to look wonderful and to perform to the best of their ability.

Moms are often like that. Not all moms.  This is not meant to be a paean of praise to motherhood. Some moms hog the spotlight ALL their lives, never willing to step back so their children can have a turn. I’m thinking of mothers who go about their work faithfully, diligently, and with dedication. They run their households well; they honor their husbands; they rear their children to have a strong sense of respect for those around them and to have faith in God. They are often unsung heroes.

Dads?  Oh, my, yes.  They too are often the quiet support whose years are spent working to provide, protect, and guide. They don’t expect an academy award. That’s not why they do what they do.

Teachers. There are millions of them who never get the Teacher of the Year award, yet they have worked faithfully for many years, influenced the lives of thousands of students, kept the lamps of education burning brightly.

CNAs.  Certified nursing assistants.  Front line workers in the nursing homes that dot our landscapes in America. They are the ones who are hands-on with their patients, cleaning up the unpleasant messes that the human body so efficiently produces. Of course they’re not all perfect, but I’ve met so many who are always cheerful, always willing to go do what needs to be done.  I’ve seen male CNAs who are gentle giants, lifting and cradling frail old bodies to clean them, dress them, feed them. They leave me in awe. They are unsung heroes.

Our police officers.  Boy, are they ever taking one for the team right now. They’re being crucified in the press, in political venues, by those who would stir up hatred and anger at every pretext.  I’ve been deliberately looking for stories of police officers  who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help someone.  There are lots and lots of those stories out there. You won’t typically find them in the mainstream media, because they aren’t sensational enough to make the six o’clock news, where it’s all about ratings.

Our soldiers.  Oh, come on, you may say. We’re always being told about how our military is doing this fabulous job of keeping the world safe for democracy. Yes, to a degree that’s true.  But what happens to them when they come back home?  I read about a South Carolina soldier the other day who is home for  leave, and staying with his family. The landlord told him he had to leave, that he couldn’t stay there as a visitor.  Against the rules. And we all know about the scandal at the Veteran’s Hospitals, the way our soldiers are being backed up from the health care they need. If they’re not overseas somewhere risking their lives, they’ve suddenly lost that hero status.

I could go on. Pastors who truly have pastor’s hearts, who love their people and give of themselves for the well-being of their congregations. They’re not looking for fame or position or their own elevation. Just looking to serve God and others. Unsung heroes.

I like this prompt. It has made me stop to be thankful.


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