DINK #291 Who Are Our Heroes Now?

Posted on : 08-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized

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One of the assignments in our Universal Human Rights class during the Fall semester was to write a brief paper about who our hero is and why.  I was really stumped on that one.  When I was a little girl, my world was full of heroes from Mighty Mouse to my father.  Slowly over time I learned that Mighty Mouse was really a cartoon drawing and that my father, although a good man, was after all human.

I was born into the  years of Camelot when the U.S. government enjoyed a period of happiness and optimism.  My family was living in Japan when President Kennedy was assassinated and my mother tells stories of how polite and caring the Japanese people were to us in our little town of Fukuoka.  Strangers would walk across the street to tell mom how sorry they were about our President’s tragic death. For many people President Kennedy was a hero but I was still too young to understand who he was or how he effected my life.

Over time my heroes have come and gone, but in the end they would always reveal how they were just another person like you and me.  As I’ve gotten older, the kind of people who seem most heroic to me are the ones who have found the courage to muster up what strength they could in order that they might overcome their frailties without compromising their values or integrity.  My heroes today are human beings that I respect for standing up for what they believe without selling out for what they don’t in order to look good.

The United States was founded by men (and the women behind and beside them!) who were human just like you and me.  Over the course of time, many stories and characters have been enhanced and embellished; however, we have the capability to dig into our history to find and discern as much truth as possible.  When you consider that the U.S. was founded by people who were considered criminals and renegades, then perhaps our current political climate is actually closer to the truth of who we are than we have ever realized.  Both the great and not so great have been behind the power of politics since our country was founded and it seems that whomever could create the most noise and attention got the votes and the position.  Today the mechanisms that were put into place so many years ago to get our attention and our votes have changed by the sheer expansiveness of our country and the population.  Whereas in the beginning days having your finger on the pulse of the people to know what they were thinking and feeling was much easier to realize and therefore tune yourself towards.  Today it seems that we have resorted to sensationalism to attract the attention of the faceless millions and we are allowing our technological advances to overwhelm the many.

Where am I going with this you might ask?  Why the shooting of Representative Giffords and others in Arizona of course.  Yes, it appears that the shooting was done by one lone and crazed gunmen.  Of course we have no control over how a lone crazed person is going to behave but a good point has been brought up in the media again about the meanness and “the vitrolic political retoric”(said by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik) that has consumed our country.”    I think our country is desperately seeking a hero. Only it is not possible for us to see our hero of today like the purse and simple hero of yesterday.  We know too much. We see too much.  At least with certain glasses we do.  And we are angry about not having a hero and we are very afraid.

It is time for us to put down our heroes of yesterday and allow our heroes of today to reveal themselves. Our hero of today may be a faceless man who helps another injured man out of a burning car only to melt into the night. A hero today may be someone like one of my neighbors who has baked countless birthday cakes and hosted many celebrations for members of our disparate group that make up our small community.  A hero today could be a politician that does not allow him/herself to become only a talking head.  Is this possible? Of course it is, they are all around us if you look for them and are willing to listen.

Who did I end up saying my hero was for the class paper?  Well, after I acknowledged the prophets and gurus who have influenced my life I diverged to the safer realm of my animal friends because they’re safer! I’ve never been let-down by any of the animals who have shared their lives with me.  Maybe I had it right after all when I was 4 years old and considered Mighty Mouse my hero!  My wish for today is to also discover heroes in my own species who are making this world a better place for us all.

Who is your hero today?

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