Heroes (for Sunday Scribblings)

This week's prompt is centered around the word 'Hero.' You can choose any of these variations: hero, heroine, my hero, my heroine, or you can just use the word as you like.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
he - ro
1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child.
3. the principal male character in a story, play, film, etc.
4. Classical Mythology.
a. a being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.
b. (in the Homeric period) a warrior-chieftain of special strength, courage, or ability.
c. (in later antiquity) an immortal being; demigod.
5. the bread or roll used in making a hero sandwich.

I've had trouble with the word "hero" the last several years. Really, since I started teaching. My students have all had heroes. It's always, a sports figure or a wrestler or a racer or an actor. A few have even put Bill Gates on a pedestal.

This bothers me.

Yes, I can appreciate the things those men and women have done. And yes, I admire them for those things. I'd love to have Lance Armstrong's ability (only cuter), Michael Jordan's skills (only cuter), be able to sing like Leeann Rimes (only cuter), or Bill Gates's money (only WAAAY cuter).

But I don't believe those people to be heroes. They're driven, they're ambitious, intelligent, strong, awesome people. But they aren't heroes. They're people with a job that they do every day. Yes, it's an amazing job that, because of they're determination, has put them in the spotlight. But they're still just people like you and me.

My heroes may not have super powers or ridiculously amazing skills, or even money. But they do have honorable qualities that last far longer than those things.

So, here's my short list...

1) Daddy. Now, as a "daddy's girl" this is probably to be expected. However, my dad is a noble person (without the nobility bit). He has never sat idly by when there's something he could do or say to stop or prevent wrongs. His heart is of the purest sort and he has an honest and real love of "right."

2) Ryan White. I've never head of a teenager more courageous and noble. Yes, many (too many) deal with horrible diseases, but few would stand taller under international attention the way he did. He didn't give up. AIDS can be crippling for the people who have it and those that love them. Ryan his family were never crippled by it. They thrived.

3) My students. I listen to them talk everyday. I learn about what they bring to school with them--family lives I can't dream up, pain and sorrow. Hell, just teenage drama and angst. It amazes me that they get up everyday and do their thing. Sometimes they break my heart, sometimes they make me wish I was more than I am.
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1 Response to "Heroes (for Sunday Scribblings)"

  1. Anonymous Says:
    Nov 21, 2006, 7:39:00 AM

    Great post. I heard Ryan White speak at an NEA convention in the '80's. He was a courageous young man and and a hero.

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