Last week at work I led a youth session on the theme of ‘Heroes’. I love superheros and convinced myself everyone else does too. It went well, less well when they decided a superhero would beat up playground bullies, but by the end we’d learnt about some heros of social justice and found the common denominator: heroes do something. It might be organising a mass march on Washington and and delivering arguably the most famous speech in American history, or it might be not using the word ‘gay’ to mean anything but someone’s sexuality. Whatever the scale of impact, heroes do something.
On Wednesday I met a hero at Liverpool Cathedral, a clergyman aged who is about to retire. He told me about the different parishes he worked in before coming to the Cathedral, where he noticed an anomaly. Liverpool Cathedral is an incredible building that draws many vistors in, yet there was no-one with a dog collar ready to welcome them. So he began ‘working the floor’ as a clear religious presence, should anyone want to talk to him. People did talk, he listened and he helped them.
This hero was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer but he’s not ready to call it a day yet. It makes me so frustrated and angry and sad and a mesh of all kinds of emotions that cancer comes along and does this, zapping people of energy, just as kryptonite zaps Superman. That’s why this Movember, I’m going to do something and grow a moustache. I might raise a bit of money from it – great. I might make my friends more aware of health issues and cancer checkes – awesome. I will tell people the story of heroes like the clergyman and my Dad.
Day one: perhaps I should invest in some selfie lessons? You can track my progress throughout Movember at mobro.co/JoeyKnock