Armand C. Hale
December 7, 2009
Misplaced hero worship
By Armand C. Hale

Sports athletes, movie & television actors and actresses, reality show personalities are being looked up to and even worshiped as heroes. Their successes and faults of these people (the latest is Tiger Woods) are plaster all over the air waves for people's morbid consumption. Our society has lost the meaning of what a true hero is and has a very misplaced perception and definition of the hero.

The Hero by definition is, "somebody who commits an act of remarkable bravery or who has shown an admirable quality such as great courage or strength of character." I would like to take some of these words and compare them to the past and present.

The Sports Athlete,

Baseball great Henry Louis "Lou" Gehrig was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on June 19, 1939. On June 21, the New York Yankees announced Gehrig's retirement and proclaimed July 4, 1939, "Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day." On that day Gehrig addressed the crowd at Yankee Stadium. After his speech the crowd stood and applauded for almost two minutes. Gehrig was visibly shaken as he stepped away from the microphone, and wiped away the tears from his face with his handkerchief. That is an example of the hero's strength of character. Information source: Wikipedia.

Movie Celebrities,

During the golden age of television and movies, actors like Clark Gable, Jimmy Stewart and other personalities actually supported World War II by enlisting in the armed forces of the United States. At that time the country was fighting Germany and Japan and the process of being injured or killed while serving was a real possibility. Why would actors like Gable or Stewart who had very comfortable lives with wealth and status want to do something like this? They were thinking not about themselves but outside of themselves. You have to be "very brave" to leave your creature comforts to go somewhere and do something unknown and dangerous!

Reality T.V. Shows,

The only modern reality television show I vividly remember was "the Newlywed Game" and that was in the late 1970's. The premise was a man and woman married less than a year, went on the show to answer questions to reveal how much they real do know about each other. Some of the answers were downright hilarious! Now all the many "junk" reality T.V. shows like, "The Girls Next Door, Growing up Gotti, and the various Housewives of "whatever" city and Jon and Kate are no more that dysfunctional people showing the most dark side of the human spirit. These shows only the great weakness of their characters and don't need to be shown on T.V. for people to emulate. These shows have become the modern day Roman Gladiator blood sports to watch.

After September 11, 2009 our definition of the hero changed for a very brief time. The firemen, policemen, nurses, doctors and lay people, were risking their own lives at the twin towers in NYC to find and rescue survivors after the countries devastating attacks. When we use the word hero too casually, it becomes meaningless.

Look at a soldier coming out of a hospital either burn or missing a limb or limbs, a firemen going into a burning building while every other person is running the other way, and the policemen patrolling the streets in America just to name a small few are and always will be to me, the real heroes. Look, listen; remember their faces and wounds before you use the word "hero" to haphazardly describe someone. It may just give you time to real think about it.

© Armand C. Hale

 

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Armand C. Hale

Armand C. Hale retired from the U.S. Air Force serving over 23 years, which included tours in Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. A degree in logistics management, he has written a book on his experiences in the country of Qatar. You can purchase his book at Word Clay Book Store and Lulu Books. He receives feedback at iw2bgu@aol.com

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