I was looking at another LMC's blog and she had a list of her heroes. Some alive, some deceased. I started to leave a comment with a list of my heroes when suddenly I realized, I didn't have any that were alive. I was actually surprised by this. After all, isn't it natural to have someone that you admire to the point that you would follow for a cause? Isn't that what hero is? Well, I went to Dictionary.com to find the technical term for the word and this is what I found:
1. In mythology and legend, a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits, and favored by the gods.
2. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.
3. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine. See Synonyms at celebrity.
4. The principal male character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.
Based on this definition I will say that I know of people that have accomplish feats that made them heroic. But is that what we mean when we state that someone is our hero? I'm not sure. I guess when I say that so-and-so is my hero, what I am saying is that I believe in that person to the point where I would sacrifice something of myself to achieve his agenda. I am saying that I completely trust the moral fabric of that individual to the point that I would risk my life for their cause. And even still, I find it amazing that there isn't a single person alive that I would call my hero.
Sure, there are people that I admire but none spark a passion to the point that I would call them my hero. Now I'm wondering is that a reflection of my skepticism of people in the public arena or is it a reflection of the times that we live in where there are few people with the moral capacity and agenda to motivate me. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington and Paul Robeson are my heroes but how funny is it that no one alive can spark that same passion.
I admire Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, Susan Taylor, Barak Obama, Harold Ford Jr., Bill Clinton, Bill Cosby, Denzel Washington, Maxine Waters, Iyanla Vanzant, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Joyner and many more. But I don't consider them my heroes. The person that comes the closest to being a hero to me is Jimmy Carter. I'll have to blog about him one day. Until then, maybe I am missing something. Are we living in a world without heroes, or am I too blinded by my own cynicism to see them?