Friday, August 2, 2013

Heroes, Schmeroes

I don't have any heroes.

Being a hero implies somehow they are better human beings because they might have more courage or ability than the average person. They get put on a pedestal for an act of courage or how they live their lives. They make hero-worshippers out of us, setting themselves up to be better than we are. I have a problem with this. No one is better than any other person just due to some accomplishment. We all have value, it just shows up in different ways.

We elevate these people to a different status as if they were more special than we are. They aren't. They just possess skills we may not have and do things we might not do; it sets them apart from us, but doesn't indicate they are better people for it.

Can we feel grateful they might have more courage or a different skill set or insight? Absolutely. But I would hope that knowing these people who are different and who do things contrary to our ways would be more of an inspiration to learn something new from rather than someone to idolize and just make you say to yourself "Awww, shucks... I wish I was more like her/him.  :/ " Screw being like them! Be proud of your own skills. Are they different? WHO CARES?!?!?! More than likely there are things that you can do that Mr./Mrs. Hero CAN'T do!

Heroes tend to make everyone feel smaller than they are, maybe not intentionally, but it happens. We are not less than them. Remember that. Heroes sometimes reinforce that mantra "I'm better than you because of what I did or who I am." We've all somehow come to believe this. Who wins when we are looking down on those who would look up to the heroes? Nobody.

I don't have any heroes, but I have lots of people I can learn from. The ones I look up to the most are those who would deliberately use their skills, attitudes and courage as an example for all of us to take part in, then share and give more of themselves in that process. They are role models, not heroes. They don't want to be heroes, they just want to be catalysts for change, for progress and for justice.

Let's grow more of them instead.

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