Don’t Call me a Hero
Food for Thought
People sling that word around today and attach it to anything they believe belongs or portrays a person who did something special. Like most heroes, these men and women are ordinary people who demonstrated deeds or acts of heroism by making decisions or choices that are or can be emotionally draining or worthy of our awe. Unfortunately, most heroes or heroines are recognized as special people after they take the ultimate sacrifice – death.
We seldom believe our own lives are filled with heroic moments worthy of recognition or awe either by self or others. Awe by self would include a genuine humbling in knowing that whatever it was we did; we did out of necessity or as a response to danger.
Certainly I would wonder what is a hero or what would happen if a hero fails – do they become the opposite and be called a failure or coward? Who are the people we make heroes? Why do we need heroes? What happens when a hero falls?
A hero is someone who “we” determine to have demonstrated behaviors and decisions that are ethically and emotionally worthy of our awe. Kindly spoken, this determination is considered purely a social status that is rarely matched by the deeds performed. In other words, the act is only worthy of hero status if the act is socially or culturally acceptable.
Hence, we have a paradox building within ourselves and society. What society perceives to be heroic may in fact, conflict with our own perceptions or emotions. How we see ourselves is rarely the same as others do. We might see something less worthy of such tagging and think that it was not at all a heroic event as announced or declared.
Then the dilemma of comparing ourselves to the acts of others and given similar conditions, we might think that if we made the same moves, acts, decisions etc. this would or should place us in the same elevated position in society as well as in our minds. Surely, we must understand that being a hero does not inspire self but rather, it inspires others by example.
It would also be reasonable to handle such an act or deed with the same emotional connection or level of enthusiasm but in all reality, that would be a very hard thing to do. Although we may want to connect to that same level, in a very personal or intimate way, it would be very difficult to do so.
In fact, society’s perception would be that you are a self-centered or narcissi person if a person was to accept that as an equal deed or act relative to being a hero. People would call these kinds of people fakes or great pretenders.
Why do we idolize someone and make them special? Why put them on a high rise stool and elevate them to that special high personal regard status and beg to connect ourselves with them in a manipulated way to garner their strengths, they stoic composure or other qualities perceived to be possessed by them after being tagged a hero.
We haven’t even talked about the connection by association method that people often used to cling to their special status in order to elevate themselves. Are we that desperate to admire, adore or try to emulate others rather than improving ourselves for the right reasons within our own means and rationale?
How do their accomplishments help yours? Just because we have been granted the privilege for their association, how does that give us any special status? Is it because we feel their accomplishments exceed those of our own and feeling insufficient or inadequate to match them?
Can you see where this is going as we struggle within ourselves to find a middle ground on this matter. Even though they have done that which, we think, is beyond us, they connect with us. It would seem to be paradoxical, but for some reason, it is not.