Have you ever met a real hero live? When we were children, our heroes were larger than life. Take Superman for example, a fictional character created in 1938 with Action Comics. He had the following powers: superhuman strength, agility, thermal vision, x-ray vision, superhuman breath that could freeze things or blow like the wind. Best of all, he was the “man of steel” who could fly! We have idolized heroes in movies, books and folklore for centuries. We could definitely use one now to get started and solve all of our problems.

But now, thanks to Covid-19, we see a new brand of heroes. Or do we see ordinary people doing random acts of heroism? We have been studying heroism for years. What happens during a dangerous event that causes a person to risk their own life for someone they have never met? In a crowd, the “herd mentality” where most people don’t want to get involved because it’s none of their business, makes whoever steps in to help a hero. Mr. Rodgers said, “Always seek help” if there is a problem.

Cardinal Property Management has carefully navigated through the unknown waters of the pandemic by creating transparency between its head office and its on-site management teams. Through discussions and surveys of their employees about worries and fears, Cardinal Group has created a charitable fund called “Cardinal Heroes”. Their employees can name a colleague who they think has acted like a hero. These are front-line rental and maintenance teams in apartment communities without any superpower doing extraordinary acts of heroism. It gave their teams a sense of pride and a sense of community at a time when it’s too easy to sink into despair.

Nurses, doctors and emergency first responders, unlike Superman, didn’t even have enough personal protective equipment to cope with the onslaught of sick people plaguing their hospitals. Then heroes from all over the country started sewing masks and making makeshift PPE out of what appeared to be thin air. People trained in any related medical field have gone to the frontline to help at great personal risk. The first responders worked in double shifts, even with the very real fear of their own health and safety. But like Superman, they had the power of their convictions and the courage to carry them out.

From the people employed by grocery and drug stores to our on-site property management teams who help keep our apartment communities open, these people are unsung heroes. Seemingly normal people who in the most extraordinary times provide vital services so that we can have a roof over our heads and food on our stomachs. Churches and food banks and their parishioners provide food to their communities. Celebrities and young children donate time, PPE and funds to help nearly 15% of unemployed people due to social distancing warrants and business closures. So you see that we all have the superpowers of love, creativity, compassion, bravery, strength of conviction, and bravery. Superman would be proud of us! He knows there is a little of him in each of us. Will you be a superhero for someone?

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