Everyone has a moral hero. Having a moral hero in life is important to have when making a decision or solving a problem. It is nice to have someone in your life when you’re going through something rough and you close your eyes and think, “What would my moral hero do in this situation?”

Moralheroes.org, a website dedicated to recognizing moral heroes, said, “A moral hero must have intentionally, and selflessly upheld moral virtues, such as kindness, patience, justice, compassion, love or peace while knowing the full risks and consequences of their actions.”

My dad is the only person in my life that fits perfectly into that definition. He is the strongest person I know. I don’t mean physically strong, but mentally strong. One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from my dad is to never hold a grudge.

My dad was taken away from his mother when he was a young child. Social workers found my dad and his brother living in a box in a closet. His mom was sent away to a mental institute, where they found out that she had been abusing drugs. Even though my dad’s mom never realized that she even had kids, my dad still visited her every year to make sure she was O.K.

Watching this as a kid was confusing for me because I didn’t understand how my dad didn’t hate her for not knowing who he was and not being there for him as a mother. One day, I asked him about it as we were on our way home from visiting her, and he told me that you can’t stay mad at someone forever or you won’t grow.

I always keep that lesson in the back of my mind. When getting into a fight with someone, I don’t let it affect me and make me a negative person. There have been many people that I’ve wanted to constantly hate but I thought if my dad doesn’t hate his mom, then I probably shouldn’t hate Billy for stealing my favorite pencil in sixth grade.

A moral hero doesn’t have to be a family member, it can be a friend or even a celebrity. Frank Torregrossa, Plattsburgh State junior and ecology major, moral hero is Leonardo DiCaprio.

“[DiCaprio] is such a huge celebrity,” Torregrossa said, “He takes all his fame and recognition to promote and talk about climate change [and] basic human rights such as clean air, water [and] a sustainable living environment all over the world.”

Even though it seems like everyone has a moral hero, you don’t have to have one or even know who yours is yet. You also don’t have to admire one person; you can have as many moral heroes as you want.

Email Tracey Fox at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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