Tag Archives: heroes

Where Do Heroes Come From?

Outline of Superman. The crest on his shirt has a question mark instead of an "S."

I have this theory about where heroes come from. Look throughout American history, and you can find some incredible heroes who fought in the name of social justice. There are no great leaders today. America is so starved for real heroes that it’s resorted to looking up to sports players and TV characters as substitutes. Why don’t we have any heroes, and why were there so many in the past? What was different?

As cliché as it is to pull the “Fight Club” card, I think Chuck Palahniuk touched on it when he wrote that we have no great war to fight. If you look back through history at any hero anywhere you’ll notice that they all had great wars to fight. Think about Winston Churchill. He was a great orator, a capable leader, and a massive alcoholic. Ask yourself this, if it weren’t for Hitler, would many American know Winston Churchill’s name?

There are rarely heroes without a war to respond to because human nature is to sit around docilely as long as nothing is bothering you. The more something bothers you the more you respond to it. However, depending on how house-broken you are, you’ll put up with degrading levels of abuse before you stand up for yourself. Some people are so housebroken they’d let themselves get poked to death with a stick. Some people are so housebroken they’d kill to keep getting poked by that familiar stick.

Some people get fed up with getting poked by the stick and stand up and take the stick away. From an evolutionary standpoint, it sort of makes sense. If there’s no need for heroes then nobody would be motivated to become a hero. Unfortunately, heroes don’t seem to stand up until the poking has turned into bloody beatings.

So you have to ask yourself, how much are you getting poked? Have you ever seen anyone getting hurt or killed from the poking around you? And at what level would you actually stand up and be a hero? Or would you take your beatings to the grave?

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