It's My Life Inc.

Who’s your Idol?

There is a little television show called American Idol.  Have you heard of it?  Well it is a competition to find the next big singing star and it caused a bit of hoopla in my hometown last week.  Lee DeWyze, one of the three finalists and a native of Mt. Prospect, came home for a parade and concert.  As a once in a lifetime event, I had to be there.  So I walked downtown and met up with some of my husband’s family to welcome Lee home and wish him well.  There was such a positive vibe in the crowd.  Yes, there was some excitement of seeing a “star” and someone who was referred to more than once as “dreamy,” but there was also an overpowering feeling of support.  The people who gathered were there to show Lee that he wasn’t going it alone and that his hometown was very supportive and proud of him.  It was a very positive event in which to be a part.

Not to take away from Lee, but I began to think of some others who have made it big yet they did not receive this hero’s welcome.  There are two Emmy Award winners and a Pulitzer Prize winner all also from Mt. Prospect, but they didn’t receive a key to the city.  Imagine if they did.  Imagine if a few times of year we all gathered to celebrate the successes of our neighbors.  Then I took it one layer deeper.  There are some exceptional people in my life that are not award winners but deserve all the fanfare, support, and recognition that Lee does.  Imagine if we could hold a parade for the nurse that really took care of your loved one, for the teacher who encourages your child, or for the individual who said the right thing at the right time to help you succeed.

I was trying to think of a momentous idol in my life, but instead the person who came to mind is a simple man who lives two blocks away.  I don’t know too much about him.  Actually, I don’t know anything about him except his house number is the same as mine.  But I do know that he is a sweet, generous, and caring man.  A package was delivered to his home instead of mine.  He could have simply called UPS and had them re-route the box, but instead he dropped it off for me.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it was too me.  I really was looking forward to receiving the package.  But what really touched me was that he went out of his way for me.  I was deeply affected by his gesture, perhaps because it was a sincere act of giving in a world that can be so self-centered and fear-focused.

Who are the Idols in your life?  Who are the people that make you proud?  Who are the people who deserve recognition for all the good that they do?   Let’s create our own online parade.  Leave a reply to this blog posting and recognize the idols in your life.  Who are they?  Why are they your idol?  Share with us so that we can recognize all the unsung heroes.

Comments (4)

  1. Jessica Gardner
    May 18, 2010


    I LOVE this post. It’s so important to recognize heroes and idols. They do live among us and are, more often than not, unsung (no pun intended).

    May I recommend a couple books to you? Brad Meltzer has just written a great book on heroes called “Heroes for My Son.” I loved it. Tonight on the plane back to Chicago, I read an article by Brad Herzog about his new book “Take a Left Turn at the Trojan Horse” about his search for everyday heroes. It was the first chapter of the book that comes out later this month and I am eager to read the whole book.

    I do think Mt. Prospect recognizes heroes and idols (like Arlington Heights does) with its annual Shining Star awards (in AH, they are the Heart of Gold awards). Check out this link for more info:

    Have a great day!


    • Jessica
      April 23, 2012

      My favorite is Adam. But I relaly don’t know who will win Everybody this year is so much more professional than last year.As for last year, I think it is better that David Archuleta DIDN’T win, because he has so much going for him, and he won’t be tied to Idol like David Cook will. Go Archie!

  2. Edith Heisler
    May 19, 2010

    Interesting article. Yes, there are many Idols and right now for me they are all the people going through radiation treatments. No one seems to want to talk in the waiting area. We’re not all there that long, but I can feel their anxiety as well as mine. Hoping this is the cure, and wanting to have more time. The staff is very friendly and at the end I receive a hug from Mary and I truly believe that every day is a blessing.

  3. Deborah Nelson
    July 6, 2010

    Melissa, I’m catching up on my reading and just saw this now, circling back to our heroes discussion on the day I picked up Heroes for My Son at the library. Would it be possible to re-publish this post to our RAOK Club and invite people to write about their heroes there? I was in LA at a conference that shared the hotel and plaza as the last show of American Idol (which I don’t follow) and Lee ordered a vodka and tonic at the bar where I was sipping coffee that morning. I thought about all the fanfare and for me it did not resonate, but your article sure did. Thanks for singing our unsung heroes. Debbie

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