A few months ago I started a project that involves me responding to journal prompts that are intended for elementary/middle school aged children. The exercise has been fun and enlightening and I've decided I want to share one of my responses.
Prompt: Describe someone who is a hero to you and explain why.
My brother. His name is Corey Eugene Arnett and at this exact moment he is 21* years old and in Jacksonville, North Carolina being a bad-ass Marine. Why is Corey a hero to me? He may be my little brother but he is not a little part of my life. He is the second most important person in my life. Corey is the person I identify most with, and it is for this reason that his accomplishments sometimes feel like my own. His decision to become a Marine would be enough to qualify him as a hero of mine but that is only one small part of his hero-ness. He has become an outstanding person. And I feel that I am the only person who knows just how far he has come from the ashes of our childhood. He is a good person. He is a moral person. He is a flawed person. He is a loyal partner in his relationship. He is selfless and humble. He is hilarious and spontaneous. He is full of hope and love. He is giving. He is thoughtful. He is an inspiration. He is my brother. He is my hero.
One of the best and most inspiring things about him is how he has taken in the same things I have as a kid (our parents teachings and flaws, our environment) and selected the best ones to use as a mold for his character. I think that takes gumption and a shitload of will. Love you, bud.
* I wrote this reaponse a while ago; he is no longer 21.