Heroes’ Troubles, Trials and Tribble-ations

by Sherry Riter in Hope,Motivation

captain kirk tribbles fuzzy

Whether you live on the fictional Star Trek Enterprise or planet Earth, life is filled with troubles, trials and tribble-ations, also known as tribulations.

According to the dictionary a hero (male) and heroine (female) are basically the same thing except that the gender is different.

hero: a person, typically a man, who is admired for courage or noble qualities.
heroine: a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities.

Do you have a hero or heroes? Who are my heroes? As far as Star Trek is concerned, the tribbles were the heroes.

The Trouble with Tribbles

In the 44th episode of the original Star Trek starring William Shatner as Captain Kirk, the starship Enterprise is called to Deep Space Station K7 with a distress call by Nilz Baris, the under-secretary of agriculture for the sector. Baris asks Kirk for his assistance to guard the shipments of grain.

During this time, Cyrano Jones, an independent trader, shows up on the station with some creatures called tribbles. He gives one to Lt. Uhura and when she gets on board the Enterprise, the tribbles are treated like pets. Tribbles softly purr which relaxes the crew, however, they soon discover that tribbles reproduce quite rapidly and eat anything they can consume.

Where do you think the tribbles go?

You guessed it! The tribbles find the shipment of grain and start pigging out on it. The crew finds the tribbles in the grain and also discover that the tribbles are dying. It doesn’t take long to put one and one together to know that the shipment of grain had been poisoned and the “bad guys” were caught shortly thereafter. Since many of the tribbles ate the poisoned grain and died, they saved the lives of humans who would have otherwise eaten the grain instead. In a roundabout way and applying a loose definition, the tribbles were heroes.

Troubles, Trials and Tribble-ations

No one is immune from having troubles, trials and tribble-ations…I mean tribulations.

trials: a test of faith, patience, or strength; something that is a source of irritation.
troubles: something that requires thought and skill for resolution; something that may cause injury or harm.
tribulations: distress or suffering resulting from oppression or persecution; a trying experience.

There are many ways to handle the troubles, trials and tribulations in life, but heroes handle them…well, heroically. They not only continue trudging through the problems, but their attitude is one of hope and a belief that the end will work out.

Just like the tribbles in the Star Trek episode, heroes put everyone at ease. A hero has certain traits that are easily recognized and admired:

  • compassionate
  • valor
  • persistent
  • determination
  • focused
  • perseverance/steadfastness
  • honor
  • self-sacrifice/selflessness
  • courage
  • loyalty
  • commitment
  • transcending the situation to a favorable outcome
  • strong
  • humility/humble
  • conviction
  • brave

There are many reasons that we admire a hero, but the most basic is that we don’t believe that the heroic act(s) they have performed can be replicated in our own life. That is why their deeds of heroism make such a big impact.

Modern Day Heroes – My Heroes

A hero is not perfect. I do believe that there are people who perform a heroic act once in their life, but that doesn’t make a hero for the rest of their life. I’m most impressed by someone who combats many things heroically over a long period of time. Someone who sets an example that I would like to emulate.

A few obvious heroes for me would be Christopher Reeve (paralyzed in an accident), Patrick Swayze (fought cancer), Elizabeth Smart (kidnapped, found) and John Walsh (son kidnapped and murdered). My heroes are people who have done things that I don’t think I can do. They have the attitude of hope and happiness into the future in spite of all the bad things that may be happening. What keeps them going? They believe that they can make it, that they can do it, and that they have it within themselves to beat whatever odds are against them.

The next two people probably won’t be much of a surprise either. My dad was not my hero, however, he heroically died. Maybe that isn’t much to you, but since he failed at so many other things in life, the dignity he had as he fought the ravages of cancer gave me hope that some of those genes are in me too. On the other hand, my mother has heroically trudged through one horrible circumstance after the next always believing that there is sunshine behind the dark clouds and a pot of happiness at the end of the rainbow. As I continue to fight the war against PTSD, I constantly remind myself that I came from not one, but two brave people. Believe it or not, knowing those things about my parents has helped me during the low times of life.

Surrounding yourself with good people lifts and inspires you to be the best “you” possible. The next three people will not be identified simply because they are my private heroes, but I want to tell you a little about them to illustrate their heroism. When “Hero 1” discovered that she had a brain tumor, several of her children were still young. Actually, she was still quite young and very beautiful. Not only did she live her life with love, compassion and kindness, she died with grace.

“Hero 2” didn’t really live a heroic life, but he overcame alcohol and drugs to remain clean and sober for over thirty years. His life hasn’t been easy either because he has already buried three of his children. I am still baffled with how a person can survive the loss of a child especially since I came so close to losing my own.

Last, but not least, “Hero 3” has fought numerous health issues and yet he still has an overall “life will work out fine” attitude of positiveness. Since one of his problems is PTSD, I can relate with the struggles in that area and know the devastating effect it has on living each day in a semblance of normalcy. Because he also has other medical issues heaped on top of the PTSD, I find his heroic attitude inspirational and at the same time mind-boggling.

All of “my heroes” have exhibited admirable traits that I want to exemplify and feel that I currently fall very short of this goal. It is important to have heroes in your life because they give you hope that it is possible to succeed. Not only can we succeed, but we can succeed with dignity, honor and courage.

Heroes suffer troubles, trials and tribulations just like the rest of us, but being tribble-oluminescent sets them apart from the crowd. During the low ebbs and friction causing events of life, heroes continue to emit light while setting their luminescent example for the rest of us to follow .

“Real heroes are men who fall and
fail and are flawed,
but win out in the end because
they’ve stayed true to their ideals
and beliefs and commitments.”
~ Kevin Costner ~

Who are your heroes?
What heroic traits are important to you?
Did a hero change your life?

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sandy Rawlinson August 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

My hero is someone I’ve never met. She is a college Professor I will refer to as Dr. K. My daughter was only 16 years old when she was victimized and brutalized by a 47 year old coworker, a registered sex offender. It was a long journey of survival for our family, but especially for my daughter. I was very fortunate my daughter chose to go away to college. She wanted a fresh start and some anonymity. She chose to major in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology. She had been exposed to “the system” as well as therapy, both letting her down. College was my daughter’s way of learning about the justice system, the court system, the legal system and the psychology behind the crime that changed her life forever. She was introduced to her Professor of Criminal Justice, Dr. K. Dr. K also had an extensive background in traveling and lecturing on the behavior and psychology of criminals. She had interviewed many criminals as well as victims. For almost two years she observed my daughter as well as reading her work on different subjects. The day came when it was time for the students to meet and interview inmates. It was that day an inmate pleaded his case as to why he should be paroled. When he was finished he asked if anyone had ever been a victim. For the first time my daughter raised her hand. The inmate asked her if she would parole him. Her answer was an emphatic NO. When he asked her why she simply said, “I didn’t believe one word you said”. The inmate smiled knowing all the while he was indeed lying. I’m almost certain Dr. K had already picked up on the fact that my daughter had been the victim of a crime. Dr. K approached her and said every couple of years she teaches a Victimology class and would she be interested. My daughter “was” interested and “that” class gave my daughter the information she had been longing for. The crime was NOT her fault. Dr. K took my daughter under her wing during the remainder of her college experience even encouraging her to go to grad school and continue her education. My daughter turned 28 today. I still keep my daughter’s final paper she wrote in Victomology. The last sentence is, “A terrible thing happened to me but it will never define me.” Dr. K will always be my hero. She gave my daughter a gift that no one else could. She gave her back her life, her self esteem and confidence. My daughter now works for Development of Family Services. She has her probation license, but has chosen a career to protect and fight for children. It’s a tough job, but one my daughter is well prepared to do due to personal experience and, Dr. K. Today my daughter and Dr. K are no longer just teacher and student, they are good friends. The definition of a hero to me is anyone who has the knowledge they can make a difference in someone’s life, and acts on it. You are one of those people Sherry! 🙂


2 Sherry Riter August 5, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Sandy, I am so glad that your story has a “happy ending” because it was really heart-wrenching. I’m sure you are so proud of your daughter for never giving up and putting all her energy into having a happy and successful life. Dr. K sounds like a hero to me too and it is wonderful that people like her exist among us. 😀

Your last couple of sentences brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Sandy. {{{hugsss}}}


3 Joan August 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I’m not one of your heroines? Sob. 🙁

On the other hand, you are one of my heroines! 🙂

You asked, “What heroic traits are important to you?” The heroic traits that are important to me is someone who is completely knowledgeable about the Internet and is totally computer savvy. Someone I can call in the middle of the night, (thanks to our 3 hour time difference it is not the middle of the night for me), and I can say in a panicked voiced, “I hit the wrong button on my computer and my complete memoir has disappeared! What should I do?”

And you will ask me in a very calm voice, “Did you save it?”

I would answer hysterically, “Of course, I saved it! What do you take me for an idiot? On second thought, don’t answer that question.”

“Well, then it has to be somewhere. Now calm down and I will help you find it.”

“How can I calm down? It’s my whole life’s work. Do you know how long I have been working on this memoir?”

“Yes” you would answer, “and I will help you find it.”

Being my heroine you find my missing memoir for me. Now that’s what I call a heroine! 🙂

And you would be an even bigger heroine to me if you were also a film producer and put up the money to produce my screenplay. Now that’s what I would call a triple threat heroine. Someone who knows everything there is to know about the Internet, is completely computer savvy and is also a film producer! But atlas, no one can be all things to all people, so I’ll accept the fact that you can navigate the Internet like no one I have ever known and that you are the most computer savvy person I know. That makes you a heroine extraordinaire in my book! 🙂


4 Sherry Riter August 5, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Oh no! Don’t sob! 🙁

What you wrote about a theoretical phone call sounds like several phone calls that I can recall especially your response of, “Of course, I saved it!” I actually heard you saying that in my head just now. LOL 😉

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hated/tolerated/appreciated the computer like you. 😉 It’s terrible to say, but when you get THAT agitated, you’re unintentionally funny. REALLY funny. Then when we actually “fix” whatever the problem is with the computer, you are soooooooooooo relieved that it is once again really funny. Thank you for making me smile. You definitely have a gift.

I wish I could fund your screenplay because I sure would do it! 😀 You’re a MARVELOUS writer and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the screenplay will be produced soon.

Thank you, Joan. Your kind words are so appreciated.


5 Kenny Sellards September 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

Awesome. You know… in the short time I’ve been reading your thoughts here, I’ve come to realize that you too have many of those heroic qualities that you site in your own heroes. 🙂 Among my own heroes are my wife, son, and best friend. As always, thanks for sharing! 🙂 <3


6 Sherry Riter September 18, 2014 at 7:55 am

Thank you Kenny {{{{hugssss}}}} I love that your heroes are your wife, son and best friend. That’s just awesome!


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