Friday, August 7, 2015

Here's the thing about heroes....

They come in all shapes and sizes, all colors, all walks of life, they wear different colored capes, and some don't wear capes at all.

Someone may think that Derek Jeter is their hero, while another person thinks that professional athletes are overpaid children playing games for money.  It doesn't make one person's view of Jeter more or less valid, it's just highly subjective.

That's why people getting mad at Caitlyn Jenner being honored as a hero instead of someone else who is "more deserving" irks me.  Is Caitlyn my personal hero? Eh... I think that her decision to transition late in life is brave and scary and that she can be a role model to so many people who just want to be themselves instead of pretending to be what society wants them to be, but I won't be dedicating a shrine to her in my living room... that space is reserved for Kelly Slater... I kid, I kid.

I think you can have multiple heroes, and they can range from someone who lives down the hall to someone on the moon.  If someone inspires you to be a better person, if someone has done great works, if someone has beat all odds and succeeded when everyone thought they would fail... I have no problem calling them a hero.

I don't think that it's fair or reasonable to think that because you don't think someone has reached "hero status" that they can't be someone that other people look up to, or that heroes are mutually exclusive.  Like I can't think that an EMT is a hero because firefighters are the real heroes... that just seems silly.... or another example I can't think that both soldiers and pacifists can both be champions.  Soldiers fight to keep us safe and free, they put their lives in the line of fire so that people like me don't have to, and I love them for that, at the same time I wish that we didn't have to use fists or guns and could instead use our words to get to a more peaceful place in this world.

Maybe my hero is a recovered alcoholic... someone who had demons, fought them, and won, but still feels weak sometimes.  Maybe your hero is your 8 year old niece who can still laugh and smile even though she has cancer.  Perhaps your neighbor's hero is that nice lady who has outlived her entire family and still manages to not be bitter.  There is even the possibility that YOU could be someone else's hero.  Not everyone is strong all the time, and they shouldn't be expected to, even the bravest person occasionally needs a hug and a night light.