Allow me to indulge in some pride – pride I have in my 16-year-old sister, Kate.

Last week, while other teenagers pined over the Jonas Brothers or lamented over Clay Aiken, my sister did this.

She rounded up a group of supporters (friends, teachers, and people who care), and let a team in the Light the Night Walk to raise money for cancer research. In total, Kate raised almost $3000 for her cause.

Did I mention that she is 16?

Kate is very often the subject of my lovingkindess practice as my “hero.” She survived cancer as an 11 year old, mastered piano, flute, guitar, now is apparently learning saxophone, she composes, she is an award-winning playwright, she’s basically good at everything and will be ruling the world one day. She writes political commentary for her high school newspaper. She listens to the problems of her family and friends with an open mind and an open heart. She feeds the cats. She’s a vegetarian. I am constantly in awe of her.

As the subject of my lovingkindess practice, she’s easy. Unlike other people, whenever I bring her image into my mind to wish her health and happiness, I never feel resistance. There’s a fullness, an opening. My greatest wish for her would be more energy to keep doing good things for this earth.

I sit awash in pure admiration for this being that I am miraculously related to. She gives me hope, plain and simple. It’s hard to remember it, amidst the political ugliness we’re swamped with, but there are people out there who are capable of creating tremendous beauty. My sister is one of them.

Who is your “hero”?

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