What is a hero?
I’ve been thinking about heroes lately, partly because our writer group is putting together an anthology on patriotism and heroes. But another reason I’ve been thinking about heroes is the budget mess we’ve had in Washington. I haven’t seen a lot of heroes there. What I’ve seen instead is a bunch of people caving to the extremes of both parties and voting, not their conscience, nor for the good of the country, but what will appease their leaders and, hopefully, get them re-elected.
These are difficult times; we are fighting two wars (yes, Iraq is still very much a war, even though we declared victory), our tax laws are in serious need of updating to correct inequities and remove loopholes, we owe money to a country that is not our friend, the real income of the middle class has dwindled in buying power, and we have people who are not qualified, making rules about our education systems.
However, I guess I’m a glass-half-full kind of person. I have faith in the American people; I think sooner or later, we will correct the problems we have now and move on to newer ones. I know that we have slackers and graffiti painters who seem to feel they owe nothing to society, but I also know that we have a core of young people who do things and who will eventually become our leaders. Some of my friends moan about today’s youth not being serious, but I see the same things were talked about by the ancient Greeks. Some things change, some things don’t.
Anyway, I started out by talking about heroes, so I should end up on that subject. I think there are heroes walking amongst us every day, but that we don’t recognize them because we think hero begins with a capital ‘H’. I think the poorly paid worker who gets up every morning to go to a grinding job is a mundane hero. I think the ghetto kid who dreams about getting out is a hero. I think the young people who have lived here all their lives and worked for an education, those who have considered themselves Americans, but who find out that their papers were false and that they are ‘illegals’, and yet they go on, are heroes, especially those who reveal their circumstances and work to change the system.
So, the next time you wonder where are today’s heroes, maybe instead of looking at our ‘leaders’ or at people with a lot of money and bad comb-overs, you should look around you. I’ll bet you can find heroes all over the place.