For all the folks intelligent enough to see past the increasingly boring, overly-predictable banter and spin being hurled at us – self-serving pontificating of alleged accomplishments – it might be helpful to remember the character and moral fiber of those who help structure the future our precarious world. Simple heroes who sacrifice themselves to serve their country and causes – many turned into political cannon fodder in election year one-upmanship, yet their names almost immediately forgotten.

If anyone can, think past the eight-second news morsels parceled out to us by a sensationalist media, and the foggy politics, to focus “on the steak instead of the peas” (sorry vegetarians). Perhaps a precious few may be enlightened enough to go beyond our comfort level – enamored with biased conflict, cheating, lying, and crossfire, further amplified by reality TV.

Willing to tune out Honey Boo Boo and poor ‘ol Big Bird for awhile – just a moment away from where we are being spun? Then take pause and consider the meaning and cause of real contributions and acts of unconditional benevolence made by the countless we’ll probably never know:

Christopher Stevens (our late Ambassador to Libya; an accomplished, beloved diplomat gunned down serving a peaceful mission in a war-torn region); and 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yusufzai (the ultimately courageous voice of children’s and women’s rights shot in the head by the Taliban).

These are real heroes.

Vadim M. Hsu, Santa Barbara


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