I wasn’t going to participate in Sunday Scribblings this week. For the first time since I started a few weeks ago the topic didn’t inspire me. I spent all day wondering what it was that was bothering me about it, until I decided that maybe that was my topic; my lack of inspiration. I didn’t want to talk about heros because I couldn’t think of any that I would like to write about.
Wikipedia has a slightly stilted entry on heros, but they do claim that “some scholars place the willingness to sacrifice the self for the greater good as the most important defining characteristic of a hero.” Maybe that is my problem, try as I might I can’t think of anyone who would be willing to “sacrifice themselves for the greater good”. I know. That’s sad. Now consider the fact that I work in a synagogue with no fewer than five clergy members. How much sadder is that now?
Don’t get me wrong. I know a lot of people who inspire me. I know many people who I hope to one day resemble in one way or another. But I also know that each and everyone of these people are human, and in my eye, they have too many flaws to be considered heros in the traditional sense of the term.
I’ve been taught to believe that a true hero gives of himself (or herself) without question or hesitation. There is no thought of the consequence, just a desire to help someone in need. I can’t think of anyone who has that kind of selflessness. But then again, it might just be that television and comic books have tainted me forever. Maybe they have set the bar too high and regular people just can’t compete with men of steel or men who shoot cobwebs from their palms. Maybe there is a reason that comicbook Super Heros hav human aliases. Being selfless all the time takes a lot out of a person. Maybe sometimes even Super Heros just have to be regular Joes.
With that in mind it’s possible that I need to lower my standards when it comes to finding heros. Maybe we are, each and everyone of us, a hero to someone. Sometimes we do things for ourselves or for some reward (paycheck anyone?), but sometimes we just do something because it’s the right thing to do or because we know that it just needs to be done. At the end of the day maybe that’s what makes us heros.