With the New Year comes reflection and resolutions. Looking back on 2011, a year with natural disasters to political upheavals, I wanted to find inspiration for 2012 in uplifting stories. The ones that engaged and truly inspired me were the ones touched with realism, that took place during the course of the every day lives of “real people”.
With that as our guiding principle, we’ve compiled SlideRocket’s picks for 11 stories of acts of heroism and compassion. From jumping into gunfire to save their boss, to opening their home to gang members, we hope these stories have as big an impact on you as they did us:
1. This one’s on me: A gentleman took his own mugger to dinner – “I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.”
2. Home sweet home: Fulton County sheriff’s deputies who refused to evict 103 year old woman – then the bank trying to evict backed down.
3. Someone in your corner: Newly minted intern rushed into gun fire to help shot congresswoman – “It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help.”
4. Woman’s best friend: Dog saves 83 year old from Japan’s Tsunami by insisting they go for a an unusual walk up hill.
5. The Door’s open: Grandmother opens her door to gang members and kids in need.
6. I’m no Jane Doe: Woman who was sexually attacked and gave up anonymity to speak out and let others know it’s ok to cry – “I felt that if I didn’t come out and put my name out there that it would be just another case of someone almost murdered, almost raped, and that it would just kind of be another story that passes by.’’
7. Not all heroes wear tights: Risking life and limb by-standers of all ages and backgrounds find super human strength to lift a burning car off a trapped motorcyclist
8. “A” for effort: Woman who started non-profit Turnaround for Children to turn around failing schools by addressing unique needs of impoverished kids
9. A bird in the home (is worth two in the bush): Pet macaw saves his owner from being robbed & beaten in his home
10. Tempting fate: Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the first living Marine to receive the Medal of Honor since Vietnam, fought his way back into an ambush five times saving the lives of 36 Marines and soldiers.
11. Pay it forward: Anonymous donors pay off strangers’ layaway accounts at Kmart, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents. Now many of those families are putting a few dollars towards other people’s layaways.
Let us know what you think! Did we miss one that caught your eye, made you smile or is inspiring your 2012? Share it below or tweet it to us with #MakeanImpact – we’ll share our favorites.