I was lucky enough to get to go to a bachelor party of a good friend a little while ago. We went to a cabin in the woods, played games and had a great time. At about hour 12 of our relatively PG-13 rated (for language) escapades we started to have a conversation about the end of heroes.
It essentially started as a conversation about village idiots, and how we as a culture are always looking to tear down our heroes quickly. How you will find different athletes, artists, and politicians who might do great in their area, but have some type of major flaw or break in their performance. Just looking for one chink in the armor to tear them down. So why put these people on a pedestal in the first place? Why even try to deify them and build them up to be something great? Why invest your hopes of a better person in any one other than yourself? We mulled this over and talked back and forth on this for some time. After thinking about this later on that night I came to a bit of a conclusion.
I pose this statement: We don’t need heroes, we need to be heroes.
If you are a constant force for good, doing the right thing (the hard thing) people will know what you stand for. If you are consistent and work hard, people will know what you stand for. You just need to go out there and be the best that you can be. This isn’t that big of a deal, it is just working hard to be your best.
I enjoy seeing folks wearing super hero shirts training in the gym. Nothing like working hard trying to channel your own inner batman when you are training. But why stop there. Batman wasn’t the greatest training and Instagram hero. He is supposed to be the greatest detective. That means not just developing the body, but the mind. Taking the time to be disciplined in all areas of your life that you are exposed to.
We obviously just got done with an election. A number of people are happy about the results and a number more quite unhappy. I’m not here to push politics, but let’s be honest. One person, much less one political party is not going to save the world. Yes, they can do some things that are quite good for society and they can also do things that can harm it, but at the end of the day it takes all of us to truly have a positive effect on change.
This requires uncomfortable things like conversations (not rants or speaking in monologues) with people that have different opinions than yourself. Think about it, when is the last time that someone called you a derogatory name and you stopped what you were doing and thought: “you know they are right, I am a piece of *%$&#, I should probably change.” Sit down and really try to understand the other side, not a strawman argument of themselves, but really who they are and what they stand for. I refuse to think that significant portions of the population of this world are horrible people, are there serial killers out there? Yes. Are there other types of monsters? Yes. Does this make up over 10% percent of the population? No. We are all flying in a spaceship spinning around a massive fusion reactor, which is spinning around a galaxy that is speeding through the universe. One rock from space that is just a fraction of the size of the moon hits our spaceship and we are all done.
If your side “won” then good for you, but don’t just sit back and expect them to fix everything, get out there and do something to make it a better tomorrow. If your side “lost” then don’t just complain, but figure out what you can do to truly help out. If you didn’t vote for anything, then find something to stand for or at least help out where you can. It’s easy to put the burden on someone else to solve all the world’s problems, but the way in my mind to make change is to get out there and push it yourself.
In my office I keep up pictures of a few different fictional and real life heroes of mine. I do this as a means to motivate and remind myself of the values that I hold deeply and will fight to uphold. This is for inspiration not for deification. I use this a means to inspire myself to work harder and become a better version of myself. I think it is important to take positive role models for their individual behaviors, but not as an end all be all. Find some aspect that you aspire to emulate and find a way to remind yourself to follow this path day in and day out. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and work hard to be your own hero and help others find a way to become their own too. I debated for a while whether or not I should ever post this and I hope you got something out of this.