In all societies, heroes are the product of a society’s perception of someone to be praised and adored; therefore, the definition of a hero is to some degree dependent on a specific society’s beliefs, laws, and interests. Universally, however, I believe all men and women in all societies and of all ages need heroes. For young people, heroes can demonstrate direction and provide examples for how life can be. They can also show the different opportunities that are available for those who try. For older people, heroes can provide many different options. As a person gets older, illusions in life are replaced with hard realities.
For example, how can someone cope with illness, the loss of close friends, and the many other problems that occur in life? Heroes are very important, whether a person is young or old, because they can give hope, inspiration, and support in trying times. They enable people to go on through life and can even turn tragedies into triumphs. Unfortunately, it may be difficult to actually find a hero due to differences in definition, expectations, and degree of power and influence in specific societies. Many adults in the 21 st century seem to express concern that young people seem to have no heroes.
They seem to blame this partly on the political leaders, professional sports players, and other famous figures that have proven to be disappointing role models. Howard Zinn, author of “Unsung Heroes,” expands this by stating about America’s historical past: .”.. it is good to have historical figures we can admire and emulate. But why hold up as models fifty-five rich white men who drafted the Constitution as a way of establishing a government that would protect… slaveholders, merchants, bondholders, land speculators?” (131, par.
Taking a glimpse into the lives of natives from the Ibo society in Africa, including villages such as Umuofia, the high regard which is held for traditions is quite evident. It was a way of life. Religion was something that was taken very seriously, regarded as sacred; it helped define many of their customs. These customs were undoubtedly understood throughout the village, and followed without ...
3) This demonstrates that even our most famous forefathers and presidents, whom we praise so highly, can be disappointing role models. In addition, people also seem to blame their society for instilling a lack of respect and admiration in the younger generation. However, I believe that the real blame for a shortage of heroes lies in society’s unrealistic definition of a hero. For as long as I can remember, in our popular culture, heroes have been portrayed as ideals and as shining, perfect people seen on television or in movies.
For example, I have a nephew that is nine years old. He completely idolizes a World Wrestling Federation star called “The Rock.” I consider him to be the perfect example of a child who has fictitious heroes. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but I think it would be better if children these days look up to those who influence them and make a difference in their lives. From this, we can go on to assume that those who complain about the lack of heroes demand that we admire people we have never met, on the basis of appearances and second-hand information.
In this regard, the concept of a hero is considered irrelevant and forces us to honor false conditions, to respect a celebrity because of what he or she seems to be, only because we are expected to honor celebrity status and popularity as if they were the highest virtues. No wonder celebrities have proven to be disappointing heroes. Every human being possesses both good and bad qualities, and when we worship the good and ignore the bad in people, we are setting ourselves up for a major disappointment. A hero does not have to be a famous personality like Mother Teresa, Michael Jordan, or even Madonna.
In the historic epic Beowulf, its title character, Beowulf, is perceived as an unconventional as well as a traditional hero in current society. Beowulf, the son of Ecgtheow and Hygelac’s thane, is presented as a fearless warrior to the audience. This acknowledgment of Beowulf causes the readers to instantly recognize that Beowulf is a well-respected man. Beowulf’s magnitude is seen at ...
A hero can easily be a co-worker, a friend who has made the best of a sticky situation, or anyone who has survived an ordeal and can demonstrate the opportunities that can come out of crisis. In fact, Breeze Lue tke-Stahl man, author of “Real People Make Real Role Models,” believes that ” One person can make a difference, and it is these people who we should all strive to be like. Luckily, they are all around us, present in every community. We just have to find them and give them the recognition they deserve” (127, par. 12).
Yet still, when the word “hero” is mentioned, the word “famous” comes to mind. These days society has been misleading, where heroes are concerned, by teaching us that to be worthy of the title of “hero,” a person must be famous. In reality, we cannot make true heroes out of people we do not know personally, or we succumb to the foolish human tendency to judge by appearances only. The very fact that many young people need to stop cherishing the famous should indicate that they have grown beyond the judgment of outer appearances and have developed insight and strength of character.
Instead of seeking qualities in strangers to hold in regard, they build admirable qualities in themselves, in their personalities and their own unique dreams. Society does not need the offers of those who emulate famous “heroes”; it needs the contributions of individuality. Nevertheless, all of this is lost on those who discredit the lack of a “hero” as a character flaw. They refuse to see that a real hero, not one based on the expectations of society, cannot be made without the truth, that the truth cannot exist unless we see people as they really are, and that we cannot see people as they are if we have never met them. Jim Tell a recognizes this in his essay “Sipping Coffee” by stating, .”..
my heroes were always found in the pages of my comic books… As long as the comic books remained open… I was invincible. But childhood ends quickly, heroes stay within the ink-colored pages…
... him a person may want to go with the flow. All heroes in society have similarities to each other. All heroes put other people or ... fly or have supernatural powers, because of the way they make a person feel, the confidence they have, or even because a ... the maturity to understand what a true real life hero is consider a wide range of people as heroes; Firefighters, police, parents, teachers and ...
.” (122, par. 2) This helps me come to the assumption that children should be taught to admire and look up to those people who actually exist and make a difference in life. We also have to discover that it’s really what’s inside a person that matters because what’s on the outside is only something that “appears” to be there. However, true heroes do exist. Our world will always have a place for genuine admiration of those near to us. We will always have a place for admiration based on an overall picture of a person with both positive and negative characteristics.
There is room for the respect of people whose characters we know and appreciate, yet whose weaknesses are identified by us but still do not faze us. There is always room for people who may not receive public acclaim but do not require acclaim to make them worthy of our admiration. I strongly believe these people are our parents, our siblings, our relatives, our teachers, and our friends. These people are my true heroes.
They are the ones who influence me to be who I am and who I will grow up to be. We see them every day, work with them, talk with them, and not only support them, but are supported by them. For example, I believe our teachers alone are of great influence to us. They are the ones who practically teach us right from wrong. Our friends, family, and siblings are the ones who help us to learn from our mistakes and take advantage of what we have. For these people I am truly grateful for and they are my true heroes.
They are the ones to be valued for what they are and what they have done for us and for the good of society. Although society may not recognize them, all that matters is that those who do understand the true concept of heroism see in them what should be seen. Although society is confused with false visions of “heroes,” many people should begin to grasp that heroism is much more than fame and fortune. More people need to realize that we don’t need to look far to find someone to admire because those who do deserve credit are right in front of our faces!