Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What is a hero?

It was once easy to define hero as someone who did something extraordinary during a time of stress and/or danger, natural or otherwise. In our current reality TV world heroes are much more difficult to define -- and to keep.

Academics are constantly justifying their existence by debunking heroes and every other aspect of our lives, getting most of it wrong, I might add. They believe they are getting at the truth and doing a service to mankind and to the country whose heroes they debunk. They're not.

We need heroes, real or imagined. It's very much like The Polar Express and the reindeer bell that only someone with the heart of a child can hear. When we lose our heroes what is left?

Cynicism has its place and is necessary to unraveling the tangled webs woven to bilk us of our money, our lives and our beliefs, but cynicism has no place when it comes to throwing heroes off their pedestals. We all know heroes have feet of clay, just like gods, but we need heroes, not as individuals but as a composite of all the men and women who have risked their lives and resources to stand up for what they believe.

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