We Are Not Heroes
by Monica Benderman
HINESVILLE, GEORGIA, October 31, 2005–Before anything else, Kevin and I both need for people to understand that we are not heroes. We both are much closer to the devil in our lives, than to the saints. We have each lived individual lives “charmed” as one might say, not for the luxuries heaped on us, but for the fact that despite all the stupid mistakes we made, many of which should have taken our lives, we somehow ended up where we are, alive and with enough sense to know that charms wear off eventually, and survival really does depend on one’s own strength in self-sufficiency.
If we demonstrate visible courage and integrity to others, it is not for any reason other than the fact that we would like our lives to be long and peaceful, having had more than enough of living on the edge. It is most likely the fear of losing our lives, and what we have earned by getting to this point in them, that we stand firmly on our principles and refuse to lower our personal standards.
Do not raise a glass of champagne, wine, or a bottle of beer to salute us. We do not want or need that acclaim. Perhaps a bottle of sparkling spring water is more appropriate at this point. The idea of a sip of mountain spring water which flows from a 3,000 year old source where rain and snow has filtered naturally through rock to create nature’s own perfect water seems about right. Just as natural spring water revitalizes your body with minerals and rejuvenate your health, we hope that by taking this stand to live freely, we can become revitalized and move on.
Others may choose to believe that we stand for them, but honestly, we can’t. We can speak to them about what we have learned, but perhaps, in time, they will come to see that they too have earned the right to stand on their principles and keep their personal standards high by having come through the fire and made it to the other side.
That is what it is all about, in a nutshell. Kevin and I made the choice to find peace, so we did it. Now, we have to battle to keep it in our own lives against a host of resistance from people who aren’t yet ready to understand the process.
We are not heroes, we will never be saints. We are two people who finally had enough of hatred, anger, and disrespect for human beings, to say enough. We are not telling everyone else that they have to stand with us, it is not our place nor our right. If others choose to support us we will thank them, and stand with them when we share their beliefs, and respect when their path leads them in a direction from ours. We are simply asking that we be given the right to live freely, as we believe. We hope that by staying true to our values and standards, people will come to see that we are not asking for anything except peace in our lives with no desire to harm or disrespect another individual.
Everyone else is free to keep on fighting. When they have lost enough, perhaps they, too, will be willing to take a personal stand to keep from losing what matters most – Life.
In Peace, Monica