Riding to the Rescue

J. Keith Hughey


Volume XXII, Number 12 (Issue 1068) March 18, 2024

Riding to the Rescue 

Growing up in suburban America in the late fifties and early sixties, many of my Saturday mornings were spent either watching cartoons like Mighty Mouse with its theme song, “Here I come to save the day, that means that Mighty Mouse is on his way…,” enjoying episodes of Sky King, the Rifleman, Have Gun – Will Travel, and the like, or being dropped off at the movies to meet up with friends where the standard matinee fare was B-Western movies. 

In all those franchises and more, the common theme called for the hero to ride to the rescue of some individual, family, or community suffering at the hands of a villain and possibly that villain’s henchmen. The message of righting wrongs, of aiding those who could not help themselves was constantly there. It remains so today in much of our storytelling and media programming – though perhaps not as ubiquitous these days as in the past. 

The faith traditions that I have some knowledge of focus on similar messages of helping the less fortunate including those suffering from disease, famine, poverty, man’s cruelty, and indifference to their fellow man, or simply a spate of bad luck. Thus, many continue to feel compelled to ride to the aid of others, if not always on horseback or with a cape flapping from their shoulders. 

As for whether what seems like a downward trend in those guided by a servant’s heart is reflective of an increase in self-centeredness, a decline in notable examples of those who choose to put others first, or some other combination of factors is hard to say. But something seems amiss. Yet one thing research shows is that among the newest generations there is a measurable element of altruism and social consciousness. Let us hope that proves to be true for we are indeed in need of heroes. 

Speaking of trends, when I was growing up, with few exceptions it was always a male character being depicted as riding to the rescue. But today, that hero-architype can be anyone, of any age, gender, nationality, faith tradition, or circumstance riding in to save the day. For instance, this past Wednesday evening I caught a news story of a woman who, upon learning of a two-year old child in Houston in desperate need of a kidney transplant, took the time to get tested. She did so because she knew deep in her heart that she was a match. When that proved true, she quickly committed to donating a kidney so that the young boy might have a chance at a full future. Her generous act proving once again that heroes come in all shapes and sizes, making differences in big, small, and often unpredictable ways. 

If not today, perhaps tomorrow will be the day one of us is able to ride to the rescue of someone in desperate need of a helping hand. 

Soli Deo Gloria 

“And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: This is what the Lord Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.” Zechariah 7:8-10 

J. Keith Hughey

Mobile: (210)260-0955 

E-mail: keith@jkeithhughey.com 

Website: www.jkeithhughey.com 

Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance

Copyright 2024 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Recent issues of Musings may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are always welcome.

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