Heroes are a figment of our imagination. We collectively crave the extraordinary. I had heroes once, I was a child. As an adult, I am bombarded by the word via advertisements and marketing campaigns. Call me jaded, but with the correct amount of reverence, heroes should not exist because the more and more that I read about “heroes”, the more normal they became. In the last couple of months men atop the entertainment and political hierarchy have been thrown off their throne due to sexual harassment. Generals that are supposed to have courage and stand up for the right thing and consistent taken the political low road, one that lacks integrity in favor of power. The betrayal. The lies. The lying to themselves.
Admire and appreciate. Nothing more. People are not immortal. On top of that, once society has found a “hero” the frenzy begins, nibbling the decency out of them like piranhas. Bieber, Miley, come to mind but the list is endless. If heroes are what you want so badly, tone down the curiosity or should we return to yesteryear when Frank Sinatra had a code of silence. No, you want truth. You want the tell-all book now, not in 25 years. Okay then, heroes should not exist in the first place.
Inadequate men want to mirror these heroes via military might, police bravery or the determination to strikeout the side in the bottom of the night. Like a drug, we men are addicted in seeing a part of ourselves in these heroes that we put on a pedestal. It’s the viagra pill for marketing and we get duped every. Single. Time!
What do we do? Acknowledge how good they perform their day to day job. Thank a garbage collector. Shake a police officer’s hand. This is the job they signed up for. Please do not misconstrue my desire for blatant realism with cynicism. My goal is to normalize what has become aggrandized. In doing so, the respect should equal out like socialism instead of reserved for the anointed few. Police officers are trained men and women whose job is to investigate, go into danger and take down criminals. That takes courage. More courage than I may possess, but that is the life they chose. They serve a purpose in society, same as the military. We need to normalize it again.
The qualities for being a hero should not be the outlier. Think of it in terms of your life. If only certain professions are heroes, what if you as a person exhibit “hero” qualities 20% of the time. That’s not being a hero. Much the same, that’s not a healthy and sustainable society built on mutual respect and reverence toward one another. It is a facade. A manipulation. A lie.
The qualities for being a good citizen and a hero are the same, so no more heroes. Just good citizens. Without everyone looking around for someone else to save them, they will find that they are the only ones that can save themselves, collectively, for the future and for always.