Friday, July 31, 2009

We can be heroes

Do you have a hero? Someone you look up to? Who you'd follow to the end of the earth? Whose words you take as gospel? Wait...

Is that what a hero is? What is a hero? Someone who runs into burning buildings, putting life on the line, in an effort to rescue others, unknowns? Or is it an individual thing, in which that person, whoever it may be, inspires you, uplifts you, seems to speak to you - through words, paintings, or music speakers?

I don't have a hero. There is no one person I believe holds the key to life, or can offer solace in times of despair; of course there are persons - be they famous, family or friends, who I admire, respect, listen to, take comfort from; but not one of them would I consider a hero. I think the word has lost all meaning nowadays. I think it's better to accept that everyone is a shade of grey and that really, you'd be best of taking a pinch of everything and everyone you admire or are inspired by, mixing it around a bit, adding your own personality (as the main ingredient) and then go off and try and leave people with the best impression of you that you can.

This all came from a mini-debate I had with a good friend on Twitter who said it was mean that people made jokes about Michael Jackson after he had died - because he's some peoples' hero. But what can you expect? Jackson was the perfect person to fall into hero or villain roles and so was clearly likely to be the butt of jokes from the off. Bobby Robson died today. Why not the same treatment, my friend asked? Well, I would suggest that there is little-to-nothing to joke about. A long, normal life spent playing, then managing, football that ended at a good age surrounded by his wife and family. That's all.

Ultimately, I don't even believe making jokes about people after their death is inherently a bad thing - it strikes me as a very natural and very good coping mechanism. But that's probably a topic for another blog.

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