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Be Careful with Your Heroes; Donâ€™t
Put Any of Them on a Pedestal
â€œShow me a hero,â€� quipped American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, â€œand I will
write you a tragedy.â€� The ultimate tragedy, however, is the vast majority of
modern hero-worshipers in the Western world who revere false heroes. So
much so, that hero is one of the most misused words in the English language.
As a matter of course hero today is mostly applied to people who do well
in sports or in the financial world or in show business and have gotten a lot of
publicity. Unfortunately, the modern American hero is somebody whom we
adore, respect, worship, or idolize for all the wrong reasons. With this in mind,
itâ€™s best to be careful with your heroes. Donâ€™t put any of them on a pedestal.
After all, no one â€” even a true hero â€” deserves to be there.
Granted, there is not anything basically wrong when we admire celebrities
of sports and popular culture, such as Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Oprah
Winfrey, Jerry Seinfield, David Letterman, Mick Jagger, and Celine Dion.
These people have been creative and extremely successful in their own right.
Nevertheless, spending too much time watching and talking about celebrities
robs us of precious time and energy that could be used in attaining significant
The core of the matter is that there seems to be a totally unwarranted, yet
broadly accepted, belief by the public that modern heroes are larger than life.
Given enough time, however, most sports celebrities, movie stars, singers, and
politicians end up displaying behavior that astonishes even those who have
looked up to them. On the extreme are those pop idols with character flaws so
serious that they would make the Devil proud.
Another dark side of modern hero-worshipers is that most live their lives
vicariously through their false heroes. If you are living vicariously through a
false hero such as a rock star, a baseball player, or a movie star, what does this
say about your own character? Shallow, or even deficient, wouldnâ€™t you say?
Undoubtedly you are telling yourself that you are not good enough yourself as
a human being â€” not proud of your own accomplishments in life, in other
words. Living vicariously through gurus, sports celebrities, and movie stars
limits you from creating the life that you want.
There is one thing of which you can be certain. A true hero does not live
vicariously through someone that he or she admires. So what constitutes a true
hero? Hungarian revolutionary leader Lajos Kossuth concluded, â€œItâ€™s the
surmounting of difficulties that makes heroes.â€�
Based on this measure, true heroes know how to steer past major obstacles,
jump over some more, and blow up even more as they proceed toward their
own definition of success. Even so, a true hero is not infallible. He makes
mistakes. He sometimes falters. He may even stop accomplishing for a period
of time but he never gives up in his quest to make this world a better place to
The true heroes are those people who have overcome hardship and made a
significant contribution to this world but who are never given any publicity by
the media. For example, Father Bob McCahill rides his run-down bicycle
through the streets of Bangladesh helping the sick who are too poor to visit a
hospital. Individuals such as Father McCahill who work with the street people
of this world are doing incredible work. Unfortunately, we seldom, if ever, hear
or read about them in the media. These people would make much better role
models for youths and adults alike than todayâ€™s spoiled sports celebrities and
All told, even the most accomplished and well-mannered heroes shouldnâ€™t
be idolized. Itâ€™s inspiring and constructive and rewarding to use them as role
models â€” but donâ€™t live vicariously through them. They have their insecurities
and they have their problems.
No human being is worthy of excess esteem from others. Truly selfconfident
individuals can admire the accomplishments and success of another
person, but they donâ€™t think anyone is superior to them. They also know that
the belief in the superiority of heroes can limit their own power to attain what
they want out of life.
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
Only chumps fawn over celebrities. They may be great sportsmen or great singers or great actors or whatever but are they a great person overall?
Do they have the personal traits & morals that make you go, wow, that person is genuinely someone special?
By putting them on a pedestal elevates their ego to a degree where some actually believe they are some sort of God. Women in every day life can be the same if men raise them to that level.