As it always does.
God, I need a hero. Doesn’t everyone?
My definition of a hero is someone who impresses me with their actions, their words, their lives – all conducted in greatness and integrity.
That’s a tall order, isn’t it?
It is for me. There have been maybe three mere mortals with whom I’ve come in contact and have ever so briefly held my respect. For a few fleeting moments I thought I’d actually stumbled upon footsteps in which I’d better some aspect of my life by following.
But one by one they tumbled from the pedestal on which I’d placed them, cracking into pieces like Humpty Dumpty when they’d inevitably hit their destruction. That they’d go ass over tea kettle was always expected yet never easy to accept.
In fact, it would always land a gut-wrenching crushing blow when it was made apparent that they were less than immortal, that they just never lived up to what I saw they could be, and that my expectations were far too much of them.
Or were they?
Recently an artist with whom I’ve been taken for some time launched a string of unintelligible, foul, bitter, self-indulgent winges on their social media page. Taking into account that the first crack in that dam came from the internet – a chop-shop for all personal images and a welcoming playground for the most heinous form of human beings – I thought long and hard about this person’s thoughts and spews.
I couldn’t figure out why the posts bothered me so much. Though I get the angle and the voice and the pain, I was simply disappointed by the ignorant and gross manner in which it all was unleashed.
I won’t give away this person’s name or occupation out of respect for the talent, this person is a wordsmith – someone who has built their life on stories told. To see that remarkable ability lessened by discovering that the REAL person behind all of those compelling words was nothing more than a gutter-mouthed imbecile was a tough pill to swallow.
That’s my hero complex: I have no delusions of perfection…just…something more. Something more than me. Something more than this mundane existence, something more than shallowness and victim mentality. In the case of the ‘celebrity’ I’d mentioned for them to take seriously and with appreciation and humility their role – dubious or otherwise – as an influential public figure with great capability of swaying young minds and old hearts.
My hero would have more strength than me…and that’s a lot.
I’ll keep seeking my hero. Though I think I’ve resigned myself that not one will ever exist to reach my standards, I hold out hope that I’m just plain wrong.
And in the meantime, I’ll do my best to stand as a potential hero to someone else who may be conducting that exact same search.