The concept of ‘Heroes’ dates back from the Ancient Greeks, although, over time, its meaning has been warped and disfigured. Now, celebrities may be confused to be heroes, as people aspire to be more like them, or to appreciate what they have achieved. Often the heroes that people choose reflect upon their own personality, as to what they believe is an admirable accomplishment.
The Ancient Greek Heroes often were not admirable, but the extreme opposite. Everyone believes Hercules (or Heracles in the Greek form) to be a pillar of strength and courage, completing his twelve labours. However, modern society overlooks that the reason he was forced to complete these labours was due to the fact that he, in a fit of drunken rage, had murdered his wife and children. The tasks were his punishment, and completing them redeemed his soul.
Heroes today can vary, from sports stars, to political activists, to half witted ‘TV personalities’. In reflection, admiring those such as Ben Ainslie, who last summer became the most Successful Olympic Sailor of all time, or Katherine Grainger, who persevered to reach her goal, valuable life lessons can be learnt. They teach determination and hard work in order to receive success. They teach us never to give up, and demonstrate the capacity of what the human body can withstand. Many will admire people such as Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela, who, although discriminated against, found the strength to fight, but even greater to forgive. Extraordinary people of our time, doing extraordinary things; a hero should be just that, hence my disapproval of footballer’s or plastic, fake-tanned attention seekers. The lesson’s we take from them is to not be like them.
A hero should be someone who you can learn a lesson from, someone who inspires the way you live your life. To fight hardships, to carry on through dire circumstances. My personal hero? My Dad, most definitely. But that’s a story for another day.
This post came under the inspiration of one of my headmaster’s school assemblies. I’ve witnessed many assemblies, but never until this school have I found some so inspiring. His example was over the Lance Armstrong Scandal, whereby another lesson can be learnt: If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.