Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"What The World Needs Now"

The world needs what it always needs, its heroes. Now, perhaps, more than ever. It is the reason comic book thrill-rides are enjoying such popularity at the box office. We want to cheer for those larger-than-life figures overcoming great transversity. We want to witness the ordinary rise above and become extraordinary.

The problem is that there are no true giants amongst men in this day and age. Don't misunderstand me, now. There are plenty of stars in the sky, but it seems that none are bright enough to light up the world. We are in an era of supernovas that flare up for but a moment, then fade into oblivion. Perhaps this trend is the product of our mass media and technological advancement. Perhaps the heroic spirit has died in the hearts of men.

But what is a hero? A symbol of selflessness and hope? A source of inspiration? A legendary figure that transcends the standards and defeats all odds? I say that a hero may be all of these things, or only one of them. If we look to George Washington as a hero, he certainly embodied these virtues, but can we say the same about James Dean or Kurt Cobaine? How were they selfless? Certainly, they are more symbols of tragedy rather than hope, yet they are heroes in the eyes of many because of the inspiration they have provided through attitude or music.

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They are heroes for many different reasons. My dad has always been my greatest source of inspiration, my hero if you will. Not because of anything spectacular, but because of the way he raised my sisters, because of his intelligence and creativity, and because he has always tried to do the right thing. Maybe I didn't always see things that way, but age and maturity has cleared my vision.

But back to the world in general.

Heroes should begin at home with the parents of a child. If we can't be the inspiration our children need, then what future do they have? Men must stop just fathering children and start being good fathers. Women must be mothers after they have given birth. Once a child comes into the picture the parents have to grow up and start showing some responsibility. Then, perhaps we will begin to find our heroes again.

We must bare in mind, though, that heroes are still just human. People have flaws. One of the reasons why I feel we lack Lincolns, or Lennons, or even a Gandhi is because we are so quick to crucify them for the slightest transgression. We look to exploit any weakness. No longer do we find those giants amongst men, for we are too busy tearing each other down.

The world needs its heroes, let us each do our part and may we stop looking for villains. Rise above all expectations and be what the world needs and our children deserve.

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