Friday, October 23, 2009

Heroes

I had been invited to join the Loose Blogger Consortium no, not for those of loose morals, you guttersnipers...although I've not got to know them all yet... by Conrad of www.levintel.com. Each week, a new topic is posed in the form of one word and we all post our thoughts on it at the same time. I of course missed last week's due to technical difficulties net down/hangover/children; delete as appropriate and am pleased to post my first attempt. Check out the blogs of the other members:

Sing it with me..."I'm holding out for a hero til the morning light....". The second I hear the word hero, I think of that line from that song and immediately, I 'm transported back to 1984 with Bonnie Tyler and the entire cast of Footloose. Ah, those were the days...dancing in the streets, spiral perms, Ms. Selfridges, iced champink lipstick and lace gloves.

I had a fresh pack of Luckies and a mint called Sen-Sen....my old man's Trojans and his Old Spice after shave....no...wait...that was Billy Joel in 1983. I'm so confused.....



During different times in my life, when I've attended courses, work seminars and lectures, I've been asked, along with everyone else, to name my heroes. I always groaned at this question, thinking it pointless because I'd just be making up the answer. I didn't know any heroes, I couldn't even conjure up a pretend one from the recesses of my brain and to me, a hero would have to be someone you know. I would inwardly snort at the people who said "my mother/father is a hero to me", arrogant, snotty little witch that I was or roll my eyes at the people who said "Richard Branson". There were a lot of people who said Richard Branson.

It's not that I thought that mums and dads couldn't be heroic at times it was more to do with their lack of imagination or that Richard Branson didn't have merit; it just wasn't my definition of a hero. Good parents or successful entrepreneurs like Sir Richard could be inspirations, they could be mentors but they certainly were not cape wielding super people who could fly with the ability to right the wrongs in the world. Actually, come to think of it, Sir Richard most certainly can fly, has been known to don the cape and has helped out the world on occasion...but I digress.

The dictionary meaning of hero is 'a man wait, what? A man?? Who knew dictionaries were sexist... of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities or a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability'; you know, like Clint Eastwood can't help it, the man is a God. Or Superman. It is unlikely unless your name is Lois, that any of us have had the pleasure of Superman's company or even Clint for that matter so the question is less literal; who, in our opinion, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act. In that context, Richard has some merits and mentioning your parents isn't so far fetched for those that have led the hallowed life.

With that in mind, I realised that the hero is like Santa at the mall during tea break; he may look like Santa and sound like Santa and keep the kids happy but when that beard comes off and he is smoking his fag, swearing to the elves like a trooper, then he is less Santa and more a dyslexic anagram of himself that's Satan, for those of you not on the same weird wavelength. Does that make him any less a Santa to the happy kids, clutching their gifts? The man or woman who saves the child from the burning building is a hero; does that make him or her a good person? To the child and the child's mother, of course it does but if he goes home and kicks his cat, does that make him any less the saviour of the child?

In those younger years, I expected the hero to be heroic at all times; I didn't know anyone except Clint who was like that, personally or in the wider world. As I got older, I realised that even though the superhero didn't exist, it didn't mean the plain old hero wasn't around; the guy who steals paper supplies from his work yet gives away money to the poor, the lady who works every weekend for The Salvation Army but shouts at the kids in her street, the rude mum at the school gates who will look after anyone's children if they need her to...they commit heroic acts every day but remain human: no super powers here. Despite their human failings, I realised the small acts of heroism, kindness and love shown by them and many like them everyday makes them guilty of being heroes. To me anyway.

15 comments:

mylittlebecky said...

wow. i really like this post. when someone asks who my heroes are i always think my brother but say superman.

ps pignoli=pine nut i'm a pretentious snob who grew up calling them pignoli because i grew up in italy (a little)

Helen McGinn said...

Becky, thank you! Nothing pretentious about it, I'm just an ignoramous. :O) xx

Grannymar said...

A very interesting take on Heroes. Enjoy the adventure with the LBC!

Rummuser said...

I should have known you in my younger days Helen! Perhaps I would have changed my attitudes towards heroes! Great post. Welcome to the consortium and happy Friday posting.

Mariannna said...

Guess which song I'll be singing the whole day? :) I don't mind, as it's a favourite.

We have a somewhat parallel view on the earth-bound hero.

Enjoyed your post!

Judy Harper said...

I thoughly enjoyed your writing! The subtle humor! Great post!

Conrad said...

Holy Cow! My, what style you have. I loved it!

I have had my own dalliance with superheroes over the years and quite a few posts about Superman at my blogging home, but I have to say that pic of Sup takes the cake!

What I loved even more, though, is your take on the hero as perceived being more important sometimes than the hero in fact.

Like I said, Holy Cow! Welcome to the LBC!

gaelikaa said...

I loved that song "Holding Out For A Hero", it is one of my all time favourites. It sort of slipped my mind to include it in mine! Just as well! That was a great post, thoroughly enjoyed it!

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm thinking my mom is my hero. Is it okay to have a female hero?

I have an award for you on my blog today:

http://stephie5741.blogspot.com/2009/10/and-award-goes-toyou.html

Fruitful Vine2 said...

I totally understand the lack of hero thing. I too cannot think of anyone who is a hero to me except maybe my husband but I guess that would fit in the same category with the mom and dad.

Protege said...

Beautiful post and I so share your sentiments; a hero in my book is just an ordinary human being who overcomes obstacles and the hardship of life, while retaining their optimism and capability to feel love and compassion.;)
Have a lovely weekend.;)
xo

The Only Girl said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

Nice to visit your blog - I'm in Canada but my husband is Scottish (Clydebank)!

Sumandebray said...

I like the subtle sense of humour in your writing. Somehow I also find a bit of speed .. or is it only in my perception.... nevermind.. it was great to read and that is all that matter.
Be a hero or not a hero.. a random act of kindness from all of us will take us a long way!

Ashok said...

The post made heroism seem like a virtue we can all achieve with the right effort. I completely believe in that. Great post and glad to have you on board :)

ER said...

We build people up then knock them down, only to discover they always had feet of clay. I grew up watching Frank Capra films. I always wanted to be Jimmy Stewart...still do. As, always, a wonderful post. Lizzy