Not all heroes wear capes.
Many of them are everyday people who either selflessly put their lives at risk for others. Or lend a hand during a crisis when others give up. Or fight the odds and come out stronger on the other side.
We, at Harappa, are celebrating these everyday people and their stories of inspiration, community engagement, and heroism during these uncertain times. We have launched a call for nominations for Harappa Habit Heroes, an initiative that recognizes the can-do spirit of people whose attitude has inspired us—and made us pause and take notice.
There is a range of drivers that motivate ordinary folk to dive into the deep end of the cloudy waters of difficulty and unpredictability. But if one looks closely in the backdrop of these, heroes without capes have one common thing in common—a Hero Habit, sometimes two, or three.
The Hero Habit could range from those that we, at Harappa, group under Think, Solve, Communicate, Collaborate, and Lead. Or it could be some other habit.
But there’s always a Habit there, even if it’s somewhat inscrutable. In ordinary times, the Hero Habit simmers away in the background, but in extraordinary times, like now, it fuels that feeling that something can, should, and must be done towards a change. And that one won’t wait for someone else to take the crucial first step.
There are people like Abhishek, an engineer in Bangalore who cobbled together parts out of home computing machines to repair an X-ray machine at a COVID center. Then, there’s the woman auto driver in Mumbai who kept driving to help the needy with transportation during the lockdown.
Many of us have heard of the Pune-based scientist who developed India’s first COVID-19 testing kit in six weeks while pregnant. And delivered her daughter a day after she delivered the kit.
There’s the civil services aspirant in Karnataka who became an information warrior by simply using a Telegram group to help locals sift through COVID-related news. The pet lover in Coimbatore who mobilized 40 people to feed street dogs during the lockdown.
And last but not the least, the many, many amongst us who have got out onto the streets—into our city's unknown settlements, even the highways, to offer nourishment to those who are dislocated and desperately in need.
We are seeing an outpouring of these stories and, as Good Habit evangelists, we are compelled to wonder: Could Abhishek, for instance, have cultivated a strong Solve habit with his response to the crisis? Could the Pune-based scientist be a longstanding practitioner of excellence with habits that together make for a strong work ethic?
Each of these real-life stories is an expression of a Hero Habit.
As we begin to find our way into a brand new post-COVID-19 world, with so many stories of heroism to inspire us, this is a worthwhile time to pick a Hero Habit for ourselves.
The world is going to need more heroism—with a ‘small h’—now, than ever before.
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Shantha Shankar is Senior Manager, Brand Communications at Harappa Education. A psychology major and voracious reader, she’s usually thinking about what to cook next.
Indu Anand is an Associate Director with the Curriculum team at Harappa Education. A career corporate communicator and content creator, she is enjoying finding her Hero Habit.
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