I been thinkin’ about heroes. I don’t know quite what to make of them to be honest. We use the term a lot, and it would behoove (does that mean acquire horse feet?) us to understand the word I would think.
And I don’t think we do. We seem to call a lot of folks heroes whom I don’t think really are. Living with a nasty disease, especially if young gets you called a hero. Being extra kind to someone can get you called one as well. Doing something sorta dangerous, carefully, and thus maybe helping another is often described that way.
People who are called heroes usually say they aren’t. I don’t know if that means they really are, meaning that denial is a sign of heroship, or whether we should take them at their word. I guess they should know. I mean only they are in their own head and know what the motivation truly was, right?
The dictionary has a lot of definitions, meaning I guess that there are lots of kinds of heroes. In mythology for instance, heroes were usually divine, strong and courageous, and favored by the Gods. They often did some amazing feats, such as single-handedly killing gazillions of warriors.
Heroes are also defined as those who have done deeds indicating a nobleness of purpose, or who have given their lives. But they can also be just the most prominent persons in their fields of endeavor. Or the lead character in a novel. Kinda descending order here it seems. Don’t forget the hero sandwich, which is a thing and not a person.
So maybe some heroes are “really big” and some are not to be taken so literally. I’m not sure, as I said. There are heroines, but they seem usually confined to literature. It seems wrong to me, since I think women are most heroic for giving birth. Everyone knows what women will do to protect their young–Sarah is a Mama Grizzly after all. On second thought, she may have ruined that whole idea.
Somewhere along the timeline of history, we began engaging in hero-worship. If people who engaged in noble causes are heroes, then worshiping them doesn’t seem such a bad thing. Depending on how you define worship that is. Looking up to, or admiring? That seems okay. To me at least. But the dictionary seems to refer to it as “foolish or excessive adulation.” That seems bad.
It is suggested that we have always had heroes of one sort or another. Maybe that’s true, I’m not sure about that either. The first Olympiads were held formally in about 776BCE. Winners received olive wreaths and marched around the stadium to lute and songs written by prominent poets of the day. One story has the HERO Pelops as the instigator of the first Olympiad. But there are other stories.
We seem to have continued the idea of heroes being sporting folk down through the ages. The gladiators were often given their freedom if they became heroic enough in the arena. And surely the members of soccer teams today are worshiped worldwide, as heroes in their respective countries.
We are no different here. We have worshiped lots of sports heroes. Jesse Owens, although we treated him badly at home, was worshiped for showing up Adolph at the ’36 games in Berlin. Jackie Robinson and Joe Lewis were heroes, especially to African-Americans, and later, to more of us. Mickey Mantle was one, and Joe DiMaggio certainly. Joe Namath was a hero in New York. Muhammed Ali was.
American astronauts were all heroes, it went with the job. Most of our Founding Fathers were. Some of our Presidents were as well, although that can go in and out of fashion it seems. occasionally a military man is. Dwight Eisenhower was more a hero as the leader of allied forces in WWII than he ever was as president.
For no apparently good reason, some actors and actresses are heroes. I think it’s just because they are “larger” than life on the “big” screen, so they look prettier and handsomer than most of the rest of us.
Ugly people aren’t heroes often I don’t think. But maybe I’m wrong. Tell me of any you can think of.
Which all leads to this:
Brett Favre was a hero to a lot of folks. In Green Bay certainly. They didn’t mind much when he came out of retirement to be a Jet. But he lost a lot of his lustre when he joined the evil Minna SO ta Vikings.
Lots of other footballer followers thought he was a great quarterback. In fact, they thought he was one of the best. Right wing Catholics liked to laud that he is a “great” Catholic. This always seemed odd given that he and his wife didn’t marry until their daughter was about seven years old. That doesn’t seem very “Catholic” if you get my drift. But since their marriage in 1996, he seemed a devoted husband and father.
That’s until the NFL began investigating Mr. Favre for sexting a TV reporter. Mr. Favre has no comment. I bet his wife has a lot of comments–that she is making to him.
Mostly people are snickering a lot.
I guess Mr. Favre isn’t a hero any more. He’s just another aging, arrogant, idiot, who doesn’t seem to understand that pictures and voicemail have a strange habit of reappearing in the most embarrassing of places.
Makes ya wanna rethink who you give your worship to don’t it?