A few thoughts to provoke your cognitive faculties.
At one time or another in everyone’s life, they have fantasies of becoming a hero.
Visions of Cu Chulainn, Sir Galahad, King Arthur, Beowulf, Perseus, Ramses, Hercules, Sigfried or Paarsifal dance through the minds of most boys. Little girls may dream of Boudicca, Cleopatra, Sacajawea, Sally Ride, Pocahontas, Molly Pitcher, or Florence Nightingale. We wish to change the face of the world, to live forever in song and story.
We want to leave a legacy for wonder and triumph behind us for future generations. To be able to say, “See that? I did that!” We want to leave a permanent legacy in a very transient world.
Others may be more pragmatic. They want to protect people from the bad guys. They want to help those in need, to “fight the good fight”. They need to feel the sense of accomplishment at winning against overwhelming odds.
There are a few people in each generation who are picked to be classical heroes in the largest sense by circumstance or accident. It is my belief that EVERYONE is “picked” to be a minor hero.
Maybe “minor” is the wrong word. The people in those roles don’t think of what they did as being minor. Perhaps a better word is “unsung”.
Examples abound, the soldier who threw himself on a grenade to save his comrades. The father who goes to work while cancer is killing him to bring home one more paycheck. The lady who rescues lost pets and returns them to their owners, or adopts them and gives them a home.
Each of these people is a hero in his or her own way. Their stories are not necessarily blared across the headlines, or the nightly news. None of them will be sung about. Most will not be recognized for the heroes they are; yet, in my opinion, they are as heroic as Hiawatha is. There’s probably more truth in these stories also.
It is people like these that keep this world turning. Nothing spectacular, just doing what they know to be right. These are the stories that we should be focusing on when we thing of the word “hero”.
Granted, the exploits of the famous make much better fodder for the Bards around the fire, but think of the tradeoff, before you wish for fame.
Go to any grocery store. There, on the racks near the checkout stand you will see the tabloids. That’s the first price, the loss of privacy. Nothing the famous or infamous do is ever private. There are always rumormongers that will cut others down to make themselves feel better.
The second price for the potential hero is fame itself. It can be as addictive as crack cocaine. The more recognition you get, the more you crave. Eventually, the need becomes overwhelming.
The third price is living up to everyone else’s expectations. Because you are famous, people KNOW that you are not human anymore. YOU are never supposed to have bad moods, have headaches, or PMS because you’re a HERO.
Fourth is the danger of others who want you to live their life for them. If you are accessible to the general public, they want your advice on everything. It’s hard enough to live your own life. Just because you did something to gain notoriety doesn’t mean you have suddenly gained the wisdom of the ages. Yet people will insist you and only you can help them. Is it any wonder that most famous people isolate themselves?
Fifth, is isolation. If you stay cut off from humanity, you become lonely. If you go into the public you desperately need, you run the risk of getting mobbed or killed by some lunatic fan. Further you can never trust that your old friends will stay by you, as they too are subject to the temptation to make money off their friendship with you. In addition you must suspect every new person you meet of wanting something from you, of being nice to you because of your fame. For self-preservation you have to suspect that no one really likes you for yourself.
Personally, I would much rather change the world a little at a time, remaining in the shadows, that become the focus for the adoration of the masses by doing something the public considers earth shatteringly important. That’s not me. I like being “Joe Average”, changing things little by little, instead of the next Elvis.
That won’t stop me from doing something world shaping if it is needed or if I am the only one who can. I only have to be very careful until my “fifteen minutes of fame” are up.
Stars light your path.
Originally posted 2009-11-11 18:46:56. Republished by Blog Post Promoter