As you think about Halloween, and whatever plans you have for yourself and/or for your family, inevitably, part of your thinking revolves around “So, who will I go as this year?” It’s fun to adopt a persona for a night or two, and express an aspect of ourselves that rarely gets trotted out into public view. You know, like Little Bo Peep (really?!) or a character from Black Panther or the Avengers. Personally, I’ve always favored Elvira Mistress of the Dark – such fun to truly not be me!

Wonder Woman and Bat Man are ever popular choices – we do so love to be the hero/heroine we dream of in our most fantastical moments. But what do you do with your hero-self? Other than prance around in a costume for a night? Usually, nothing. OK, no big deal. However, there is a hero among us who chooses to actually BE the superhero whose cape he dons – and that’s Austin, a four year old boy in Alabama.

Austin has a mission, and not one that he reserves for Halloween. Almost every day, Austin puts on his cape, and uses his allowance to buy chicken sandwiches for the homeless in Mobile. Austin goes among them with his dad close by, and distributes the food. His mission? To show love. When Austin tried to run away from home to experience an adventure, his dad decided to give Austin a different sort of adventure, and talked to him about homelessness and what it meant – which ended up in Austin wanting to see homeless people and how they lived for himself.

His dad wasn’t sure if this was a great idea, but he thought “OK,” and off they went. The result? Austin wanted to make the people he saw, happy, and asked his dad if he could give them some food. Thus a superhero who really lives up to his cape, was born.

What will you do with your Halloween persona? Will you be inspired to take on some mission, some purpose, some kindness you might otherwise not think of? If a four-year-old can be inspired to show love to strangers, in a decidedly respectful and meaningful way, why can’t we?

I may have to give up Elvira. Given my predilection for showing love by appreciating and giving praise, I’m thinking Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother might be a good choice. Although, that scary black wig sure was fun!

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, consultant, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of over a dozen best-selling books. Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. She is the author of “Happy Healthy…Dead: Why What You Think You Know About Aging Is Wrong and How To Get It Right” (MindLab Publishing). You Matter. You Count. You Are Important. Visit,, #MeetTheAmazings, @drnoellenelson