Saturday, June 27, 2009

Is A Hero Just A Sandwhich?

I have been troubled for several years now about the over usage of the word "hero," and no, I'm not talking about the TV series, though it does somewhat speak to the point I want to make. Anyone trying to learn the English language today would have to assume that everyone is a hero. If you're famous - you're also a hero. If you or your sociological group are the subject of a talk show - you're a hero. If you give money to a worthy cause - you're a hero. If you help with any service project - you're a hero. If you did something honest or showed integrity - you're a hero. If you are underpaid, overworked, and under-appreciated, or if you put your family first, or if you join any military service, or if you honor those who serve, or if you called 911 for someone else - you're - well, by now you get the point.
Our generalized application of hero has made it an almost meaningless word. The news media throws it at anyone who is nice, does what's right, sets a good example, or is being the good citizen we assume and expect everyone to be. It's like the NFL players who pound their chest, dance their personal dance, and basically scream "Look at the awesome tackle I just made!" Well Duh! Isn't that what they pay you millions to do? And didn't the work of ten other guys have a little to do with it? And you think you're a hero?
I know - the dictionary says that a hero is someone who is admired for their accomplishments. So yes, Mom you're a hero for all the work you do, and Dad's a hero for playing catch with Junior. I guess being born right after WW2 and during the Korean War, I tend to think of a hero as someone who does something "above and beyond" what is expected. It's the person who risks their life to help others! It's the willingness to sacrifice and do what few people are willing to do. Doing something "heroic" is doing something extraordinary, not doing what any responsible person should do.
I don't know? I guess I can't help but think about the 1200 WW2 veterans who die each day, who paid dearly for this right to do a blog and keep goose-stepping black-shirted government killers from closing the doors of my church. Men and women who pass from this life unnoticed and forgotten as we spent days mourning the loss of TV stars and musicians, and listen to other celebrities call them heroes.
I don't want to take honor and recognition away from anybody - but I do wish we'd save the word "hero" for people who truly did something heroic. If you're a hero for collecting litter from off the street, what would you call someone who allowed himself to be crucified to pay for the sins of all mankind? Now that I think about it, I can't remember a time when anyone referred to Jesus as a hero. Why not?


chiarajulieann said...


hi just started following your blog and i would like to tell you how i not only enjoy reading it but that i learn something good from each post.

so thank you, sir. =D

N.R. Kehn said...

Hey Mike, just read this entry. You know, I would not call Jesus a hero. I would call him the Original Super Hero. But that's just me... :)