But when anyone refers to any of these men as a “hero”, much of the response has been negative. Some people, for whatever reason, simply do not like the thought of identifying anyone with this label. I was recently in conversation with someone like that. Boy! Was he adamant!! That prompted me to write this post.
You see, I believe in heroes. I believe they are necessary for the health and success of our society. Please allow me to explain. Let me start with a dictionary definition.
Hero – “any man noted for his special achievements.”
Heroic – “1. Of, or appropriate to a hero or heroes. Courageous; noble. 2. Calling for heroism involving risk. 3. Impressive on size or scope; on a grand or grandiose scale.”So says the American Heritage Dictionary in their concise and clear definition. Pretty simple, isn’t it? That certainly doesn’t sound threatening or dangerous in any way to me. Neither does it sound like anyone is making idols or gods out of “heroes”. Just a plain simple definition of what a hero has always been understood to be in our society. We are not worshipping them. Though I am sure there is plenty of that going around too. That is nothing new. That has occurred since time began. People can be guilty of worshipping things, money and even their beliefs! Worshipping idols, doesn't have to be the case when it comes to respecting heroes. And in a healthy society, it isn't!
We are not saying heroes are perfect. A hero is simply someone whose actions are worthy of respect. Why the recent attacks on defining someone as a hero?
Well, my dad taught me (those of you that read my blog frequently, had to have known that he would be my premier source) clear back in the ‘60’s that heroes are important to any society and especially important to a society’s children. Heroes make us better. Heroes give us something to look up to. Heroes give us something to emulate and try to aspire. They give us goals to attain. That’s important for a child!! Children must have role models! And they must be decent, moral and courageous role models.
I mean, come on!!! Who would you like to have as your child’s television role model for a mother? Rosanne Barr or June Lockhart? For those of you too young to know, June Lockhart was Timmy’s mom in the 1950’s show Lassie. She was just about perfect as she cared for young Timmy and her family. And of course Rosanne Barr, was the sarcastic, flippant, beast of a mom in the sit-com Rosanne.
Whether we like to admit it or not, television and movies influence our society. Something as simple as the portrayal of a mom can affect what we expect out of our mother’s and thereby, mom’s actually become that. More often than not, it simply gives some women an excuse to act out. “Well, Rosanne did it, so I can, too”, is the thought pattern that then invariably leads to that same action. You doubt that? Pay attention for a bit. Watch behaviors and how they form and play out in copy-cat fashion after something becomes popular on television. Individuals become whom they admire. Individuals become and make-up our society. This is why it is so important to have someone we can look up to, value, and honor.
Did you know that many generations ago, books that were written for school children about public figures had no negative comments included…at all!! Biographers only wrote about the good things done by the person of whom they were writing. I had always been told that that was the case. Then upon reading a few books from A Beka Publications while homeschooling my son, I found that it was indeed true. There was nothing negative or untoward written in these biographies from the 1800’s. Those generations knew and understood it wasn’t necessary for children to learn things that were not beneficial to society, or a child’s upbringing. It wasn't until the last half of the 20th Century that we began to see more and more of a degradation of those whom once would have been considered heroes for our children. Indecency and unseemly behavior was all of a sudden flaunted in books and television.
But let me get back to my “premier source”. How did my dad know what he knew? Why did he teach his children this truth? Well for one thing, he raised his children during the tumultuous years of the 1960’s. Out of all of the changes that our young nation has endured, I believe the 1960’s was the most pivotal. “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” “Cops are pigs.” “Make love, not war,” was the mantra continually be spieled to our youth. Any chance of considering any one a hero from anyone within government or an authoritarian position would have been quickly and boldly shunned within this movement that was infiltrating our schools and even our churches.
My dad saw it. He had read what the Communists goals were to take over our nation, and he could see what they said they would do, they were doing. All of it was clearly taking place in communities across our entire country.
But more than that, my dad also knew writing, producing music, making television shows and movies about bad things is not Scriptural. Think about it!
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4: 8 should be the way we teach our children.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it.” “IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO”! A child does not need to learn evil in order to know how to behave righteously – contrary to today’s popular teaching! In fact, quite the opposite is true. Children need to learn “good” and have Biblical guidance in order to know how to act in order that we might have a successful society.
God was removed from schools in 1963! Of course He had to be removed to convince our society that the whole world is really like Rosanne Barr and not June Lockhart. It isn't!!
But it clearly is having an effect! As for me, I am going to stick to believing in heroes. People that inspire me and give me hope. People that let me know God is still at work here, as we wait for His return. I want to admire those that will enable me to say, “That is how I want to do it”. “That is the kindness I want to show.” “That is the generosity I want to give.” “Those are the morals I want to see displayed throughout our society.” “That is the bravery and courage that is going to keep us the strong and benevolent nation we have always been.” “Those are the heroes that have fought and died in every war to keep freedom alive.” These are the things I want to look to and focus. It is in these things we find heroes. That is what we need to teach each generation; especially in generations that have now wavered from respectful behavior and righteous examples.
Those that have a problem with heroes - like the “friend” I mentioned earlier - seem to have bought into the dangerous rhetoric of the 1960's. Whatever! Call these note-worthy men and women examples; ensamples; or call them role models! We just need to make sure we aren't degrading their character and actions by cautious re-labeling of a word that seems to frighten or disgust some, because in the end, that does more harm than good. They are all heroes to me.
We need heroes! We succeed with them! We become like them! Somebody knows that simple fact! And that is why we have a blatant campaign against heroes, today. And that is why I will continue to fight to commend and bring attention to heroes i.e. “any man [or woman] noted for [their] special achievements.”
Pretty simple, isn’t it? Is it really that bad? I see no idols. I see heroes.