Recently I did a little favor for a friend. To me it was nothing big, nothing special. It took little time, cost me no money, and it was for a friend, so why wouldn’t I do it? Apparently this little favor was quite important to my friend, to the point of improving their life significantly. At the time I didn’t realize how big a deal this would be, but soon after my friend contacted me and told me I was “their hero.”

I voiced to my friend that I wasn’t a hero, but they insisted, informing me just how big a difference I had made in their life. I was stunned, flabbergasted, honestly in disbelief.

I don’t claim to be anyone’s hero and have never felt like a hero. Oh, I’ve done a few good deeds in my life, maybe a handful of which bring me memories of actual pride. But a hero? Heroic deeds? No, that’s not me.

But my friend went on and on, to the point I became quite embarrassed.

Then it dawned on me that I should just shut up and take the compliment.

Sometimes we honor others by allowing them to honor us. We as individuals are not the ones who label ourselves “hero.” It is others who bestow honorifics.

So, no, I still don’t really feel like a hero, and I don’t think of myself as such, but I did appreciate being appreciated, and I’m glad I could help out a friend. If accepting their calling me a “hero” makes them feel better, then who am I to balk at their words? By refusing their honor, I would be doing them a disservice.

And that’s not what I would want to do.