I’m not a hero. If you ask me why, there are plenty of reasons. I’m sure a lot can relate to this.

It takes a whole lot to be one – even more if you do this full-time. We’re all familiar with the idea, like how Superman always saves the day on our TV or movie screen. Even without any superpowers, the idea of pleasing people and making them all smile – especially if it’s our loved ones – still sounds so appealing. I mean, who wouldn’t like to be such a character? They’ll be showering you with praises. Some might even be falling in love with you while others might want to be just like you.

Unfortunately though, there are those who might use you. I know this sounds awful but it’s true. There are really toxic, manipulative beings out there. We can’t always tell the difference. We’re often so willing to help until we realise that they get all the benefits and we’re left with nothing in the end. A simple ‘thank you’ would be enough, but they even forget that too.

And worse, they can also laugh about us behind our backs, telling others that they can use our services any day now – and we’ll be much too foolish to realise that.

I’m not a hero, perhaps even to you and anyone else out there. I do care about you, but I’m not fit to play such a mighty role. I’m only human too. Sometimes I get tired and lose patience. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with other people’s problems for no particular reasons at all. What can I do? I don’t have all the answers. I can’t always find the solutions.

Some may not always have the patience with me and I get that. I’d be like that too if I were any of them. Don’t we all have such high expectations?

I’m not a real hero, no matter how badly I’d like me to be. You see, I don’t even really know how to love unconditionally. Deep down, I still wonder about what’s in it for me. How terribly hypocritical of me.

That’s why I’m amazed to hear people say: “I’ll do anything for her, even when she doesn’t love me as much.” Or: “I love him, but if all he ever wants is to just get back together with her – then I’ll help him.” Or: “They don’t even have to know it’s me as long as they get all the help they need.”

I’m afraid that – if it were me – it would sound like this: “I’ve done all for her. Why can’t she see that?” Or: “Fine. I’ll be helping him to win her back again, in hopes that soon he’ll see for himself that I am the one who really, really love him.”

Or: “This is all I get after I’ve helped them? Thanks for nothing!”

Do you see? Being a hero isn’t easy, even harder if it’s done full-time. You mustn’t make them all wonder: “What’s the catch?” You shouldn’t be expecting for a return nor a reward. Let’s face it; sometimes it’s a thankless job. Not only that, sometimes you have to be ready to be completely forgotten, because that’s what actually happens in the real world…

So no, I’m not anybody’s hero. Maybe I can play a good Samaritan once in a while, yet I’m still not qualified to be called such one. I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I’m not good enough and that’s such a disappointment.

Then again, doesn’t this make me only human?


(Jakarta, 12/11/2015 – from The Couchsurfing Writers’ Club Gathering @Anomali Coffee – Setiabudi One, 8:00 pm onwards. The writing challenge topic: “Heroes”.)

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