here are some things we could do with being reminded of at regular intervals throughout our lives, from stumbling toddler to bumbling codger. Things like: when people ask how you are, the correct answer is ‘Fine thanks’; No, you don’t need another drink; and the stop-cock lives in the cupboard under the stairs.
But the one that’s relevant now is the truth that being brave doesn’t mean not being scared – it means being scared and doing it anyway. And being brave, behaving boldly, is a big part of being a hero – something most of the people in this issue never imagined they’d be called. They weren’t born with extraordinary powers, any more than Britain was born with fjords or deserts or Alps. What they did instead was overcome that inertia common to all of us and DO something that – little by little – added up to something significant for someone. It might be as big as a record-breaking achievement or as modest as sowing a seed of love for the outdoors. It might be climbing Snowdon, saving a small corner of the country from the scourge of litter, or walking 1000 miles. What all these things have in common is they start with a single step in the right direction. And if you think you’re just not made of hero stuff, take the British landscape as your example. No great shakes on a global scale, but fairly knockout at inspiring adventure, art and invention, eh? Britain might be little, but we don’t have to be little Britons. Let’s be heroes!