We have another first in our Heroes series this week. This is a very special edition that will deviate from the regular top 5, because the story touched me in such a way that it seemed only right to reserve this Friday’s table for only two. This story happened last year, but I am always going to run with something that makes the news? Worthy.
This week’s Special Top 2 Heroes are Bob Kraft and Alyssa Silva. Their story exemplifies hope, faith and our better angels.
I know what you’re thinking. . a New England Patriot as good hero? Two days before the New England Invitational? That there is anathema to the senses of any football fan outside of the 508. But the owner of the New England Patriots is much more than just the “Gate”-keeper to a modern day dynasty. Kraft is also a civic minded mensch whose outreach has helped to make countless lives better.
Alyssa Silva is one of those lives. The twenty eight year old Ms. Silva is a blogger who specializes in creating bold new words like ‘enoughness’. And when she’s not writing, she’s non-profiting (another Silva Special) as an entrepreneur whose mission is to bring awareness to spinal muscular atrophy. SMA affects the motor nerve cells of the spinal cord and inhibits muscle growth. Alyssa was diagnosed with the disease when she was six months old. Doctors at the time predicted she would not live past her second birthday.
Embrace the rough draft. Learn from the edits- Alyssa Silva
Silva has been a frequent guest of owner Bob Kraft at Patriots home games over the years, and last summer she and her family took part in what they believed was a follow up segment for ESPN. During the interview, Kraft and Matthew Slater (Silva’s favorite player) presented them with a handicapped accessible van. These rides do not come cheap, and while her family had been shopping for one, they feared they might not be able to afford it.
Kraft came through with a game winning drive of his own. And it’s easy to see why his organization has been gold standard professional throughout his tenure. Because the Boss? Gives a damn about the people in his circle. Love him or loathe him, that’s how leaders are supposed to behave.
Joy and Pain Can Coexist- That’s when I realized: it’s easy to falter on the false idea that joy can finally enter your life once the challenge has been overcome. But the reality is that joy is ever-present, and despite the discipline and hard work it requires, choosing to see life this way will always be far more rewarding- Alyssa Silva
As for Alyssa Silva, there’s no doubt about her leadership skills. She is twenty eight years strong, with every single day presenting the kinds of challenges most of us take for granted. In a world whose currency is status, hers is the beauty and grace that actually counts for something. The purpose she brings to every single day is one of faith, perspective and a tenacious spirit that has traversed real life odds pretty much her entire life.
We ain’t gonna find a bigger hero come Super Bowl Sunday than her brilliant soul provides. Because winning the day isn’t about trophies and rings. It’s about the ideals you impart for the profit of others, and that is the kind of selfless currency the world needs more of.
That is everything.