I wonder sometimes what it would be like to meet one of our personal heroes. The truth is, it would be quite difficult since most of my heroes are dead. In a way, I think that is by design. There’s something about people who are long dead which allows us to place them on a pedestal. We can overlook their faults, exaggerate their strengths and create a mythology around them that could be far off the mark. We keep them at arm’s length, but that does them and us a disservice because only knowing their strengths is not to know them at all. Join me after the jump for more...
If our heroes were alive, and if we could interact with them, see them as people and know who they truly are, this would be much more difficult, if not impossible. I think in a way, we have this backwards. Our heroes should be heroes to us, not because of only their strengths, but also because of their weaknesses. The greatest people are not those who are perfect, but those who manage to make greatness out of their lives despite some glaring weaknesses and personal flaws. After all, is that not the quintessential human condition? Our imperfections, and our constant struggle to rise above them, to make our mark, despite these crippling flaws. Is that not what makes us great?
My taste in heroes is very similar to my taste in everything, very eclectic. It runs from the classic Civil Rights Leaders, some ancient luminaries, and a few modern day people. Of course there are a few wild cards thrown in there, because what good is being predictable? None of them are perfect. They all have their faults, but they’ve all played meaningful parts in making me what I am, inspiring me to be better and teaching me how to be a better person, and that’s really all I want in a hero.
P.s. There will be a Haiku to go with each week’s entry. 52 weeks, 52 Haiku (maybe more), and 52 people. I hope you enjoy.