Hi, I’m Dasha, author of the amazing book “Don’t Chase Love – Cut to the Chase”. I’m doing a series of articles on relationships and these days I’ve given you an insight into mine. If I’m trying to teach vulnerability, it’s only fair to show how it’s done. This is the sixth article of seven.
The photo you see I took in TATE Modern. Jean-Brunel was standing in front of the animation which led to the concept of Ghost in the Shell, I hope I got that right. I knew it meant a lot to him. The original anime influenced the making of Matrix amongst other things.
Here is one of many quotes on leadership from Ghost in the Shell:’Your actions determine who you are. What you do in public (and private) matters. These are the things you’re going to be defined by.‘
By definition (and yes, I’m borrowing this straight from google), a hero is a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
Every man could be a hero, most of them are. A man doesn’t have to have super powers to be considered able to do great deeds.
Let me put it like this – isn’t every man who goes to work and takes care of his family, a hero? Isn’t every husband who cares about the happiness of his wife, a hero? Shouldn’t he get appreciated for that every day? If you have a man in your life, do you let him know how proud you are of him?
I digress, we are talking about my man.
I’ve already demonstrated how much he cares about the people around him, trying to help anyone who needs help.
Taking about noble qualities: He is honest, transparent and selfless. Those are the noble qualities. He is also thoughtful and a wonderful father.
And when it comes to brave deeds…
One day, working on a construction site and just being on a break, getting some food at Tesco’s, he jumped between two heated guys. One on a bike, another who had a weapon in his hands, trying to pull the rude biker off the bike. JB saw his colleague ‘lose his shit’, jumped between them, got him to drop the tool as he twisted his arm and so managed to diffuse the situation. No one got hurt. I think someone got it on video but I never saw it.
Once he had to fight off 7 white guys jumping him while people were standing around and didn’t lift a finger. He could have given up but he stood his ground and they couldn’t pin him down. Finally help came from two strangers, not the family members of his ex who were in the crowd watching.
When he first went with me to meet my family in Slovenia, he broke his foot and still went to work on the construction site. (Brave or stupid, well, that’s sometimes arguable, I agree, LOL.) He also passed the running test for the army in record time, better than when he was 22 – with that broken foot and old trainers which were falling apart. We had no money…
Or the way he has been fighting for his children for 3 years now, without ever losing his patience with the system where the court itself admitted they were dragging their feet too much on this case, and yet still nothing got done or IS getting done, as a second court case is now running.
Again a case of racism because if he was a white man, this would have been decided much quicker, we all know that. Do you really think if he was a white man, the court would have allowed his ex, a white woman, to not show up for a court date FIVE times and still get away with it? I don’t think so.
And on the flip side – do you think the court would have tolerated a black man not showing up for court even twice? Sorry, it’s just the reality we have been dealing with the past 3 years and it’s frustrating as hell.
He is a hero for still managing to get up every morning, despite the fact he can’t reach his children in any way. And then he goes and focuses on trying to build something useful and not give into any self-destructive behaviour.
We think a hero is someone fearless. On the contrary. It’s someone who cares more for the wellbeing of others than his own.
JB was a hero for staying in his last relationship just for the children, so they wouldn’t grow up without a father as he did.
And he was a hero just as well for stepping away from that abusive relationship and giving himself a second chance, after 15 years of giving his best.
He was a hero for giving me a chance at a relationship with him as well. Given the crap white women gave him all his life, he should have resented them. But no, he stayed open to someone decent and loving, no matter the background. (By the way, I had that same issue, didn’t have good experiences with black men, yet it didn’t make me racist, luckily.)
When anyone needs him, he jumps to the occasion and takes immediate action: if a friend’s ceiling comes down in the living room, he gets the council to react within 24 hours. When our neighbours in the council estate had problems with fly tipping, he gathered evidence and had the council react immediately – something his neighbours haven’t experienced in decades of living there.
In my eyes, he is a hero for even TRYING to make a difference. It’s all at the end of the day we can do and if all tried to be heroes for each other, imagine how quickly our world would turn around.
It would become a world in which boys wouldn’t need fictional role models like Batman or Captain America as an escape from bullying. They would all have real life examples of their fathers and neighbours, being there for each other.
What I was trying to convey is that living with a man who inspires to be a hero makes me feel safe. And because I feel safe, I can focus on my own projects and friends. I can finally have a life of my own whereas in the past, I would always disappear in the life of the man, taking care of him.
I can finally relax into being a woman because I don’t constantly have to be on alert whether someone is out to get me. I can allow myself to be more joyful, sillier, clumsier (gosh, I have become so clumsy and I was never clumsy in the kitchen before). It sounds like a bad thing but I’m actually enjoying it and laughing at myself.
Life has become more than just a struggle from one pay-check to another. It has meaning now, it has warmth. I can enjoy the present, working in my garden or writing an article. And I can enjoy the thought of an interesting future, because Jean-Brunel inspires me to be just as much a hero as he is.
Even with no money these past three years, we were and are the richest people in the world – because we have a love for each other which one day will go down in history as one of the greatest loves of all time.
This great love wasn’t a coincidence – we were heroes of our own lives and then heroes for each other. We made it happen. Anyone…can make it happen.
Just be your own hero.