Wether your heroes are fictional or real, there is always more to them than meets the eye. When we think of a “hero” we usually think of super heroes from the Marvel or DC universe. Super powers, capes, tights, all of that. But a hero can be anybody, a person you look up to, somebody you hold in high regard. Your heroes can be close to you, maybe it’s your parents or maybe it’s somebody you don’t personally know, but idolize nonetheless.
Referring to somebody as your hero is one step up from being a fan. It’s safe to assume you’re a fan of your hero but being a fan doesn’t necesarily mean you see the person you’re fanboying or –girling over as your hero.
It’s great to have somebody to look up to. It’s great to follow somebody’s values, respect somebody’s game and to just feel connected with somebody somehow. Maybe your hero is a musician, an actor, a business man or a fire fighter. There are many icons in society that have attained a hero status amongst a large portion of people. The people who “changed the world”, the ones that make a difference or at least try to.
A thing we tend to forget is that these heroes are just as human as you and me. They are the same, their position is just different. Our heroes deal with problems and sometimes they aren’t able to deal with them at all. They deal with pain, they cry, they get angry and do thing they regret or things they should regret. Our heroes make mistakes, they even do bad things sometimes that are unforgivable. They’re happy to fulfill the role of the hero and masquerade as such but at the end of the day a lot of these icons are just as much able to fulfill the role of the villain.
Certainly this isn’t with all our heroes. But from my experience I’ve seen people idolize the wrong people or the right people for the wrong reasons. You might say what is right or wrong is subjective and even though nobody’s perfect, it’s usually not that difficult to tell wrong from right.
People are happy to ignore their heroes’ flaws. I understand that though. If somebody I hold in high regard does something stupid, I’ll admit it but I don’t like to admit it. On the inside it might make us mad that our hero has disappointed us but on the outside we will give excuses for his or her mistakes. We defend our heroes.
There are some clear cases where we see villains regarded as heroes. With the new and popular show ‘Narcos’ about Pablo Escobar I’ve been hearing how people are impressed by the guy. Same story with the Wolf of Wall street. After that movie people looked at Jordan Belford, the millionaire who screwed over many innocent people, as an example. They want that life. They want that money.
A lot of times it is about money. It still boggles my mind why people can be so impressed by money. Dan Bilzarian is a spoiled kid that got rich because his family is rich but people still see him as a God for some reason, only because he has money. My heroes are not known for their money, they’re known for the things they do that make them different, creative and for the contributions they make to the world in whatever way. My heroes are not known for the amount of things they own. I’m not trying to make myself sound good, I’m just saying what I believe a hero should be known for.
Then there are heroes masquerading as villains. A lot of icons are not as pretty as they may seem on the outside. If we got to know all of our heroes personally, there would be a lot of disappointment. Unless you’ve personally met somebody, experienced who they are and what they’re like, it’s hard to tell who they truly are.
Steve Jobs, Elvis, John Wayne, Roman Polanski, even mother Theresa, have all done things unacceptable things. Just to name a few. Again, I know, nobody’s all perfect and we all make mistakes, that’s a thing we like to say when our “heroes” mess up. But there are some things they’ve done or things they still do that wouldn’t get a free pass if somebody else did them. They wouldn’t be accepted, not even by law.
A large portion of American presidents owned slaves, Hugo Boss was a nazi and Christopher Columbus was a genocidal maniac. Many still see these people as heroes and look at the things they did right. We ignore their mistakes, maybe we’re not aware of them but we should never forget them.
That’s not to say we should denounce everything these icons have left in their legacy. Even though I personally believe boycotting Apple would be a good thing, it’s never going to happen. I also believe that people who use Apple products aren’t representing Jobs’ and his comapany’s unethical behaviour. I also don’t believe that just because you like John Wayne movies, you’re a racist. I believe that just because you wear Hugo Boss clothing, you’re not a nazi and so on.
It’s a complicated matter of course and there are definitely people in the world that should be treated like the evil people they are or were and we should never forget or ignore the bad things somebody has done or does. It’s important we see the difference between good and evil and if you really must consume, consume the good and leave the bad. If we start to really analyse and think about all the things “heroes” in the world have done, there would be a lot less heroes and a lot more villains. Who wants a world ruled by villains?
As long as you’re a good person, don’t overthink it.
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