The World Needs Heroes

By Citizen Prime
From Ration Reality
Today, the world needs heroes more than ever. In 1945, being a good man meant standing up for your neighbor as well as your country. It meant doing the right thing, and everyone knew what the right thing was. World War II was, arguably, our hour of greatest need and it bred men of amazing conviction and character as they fought against Hitler and what was called the Axis Powers. Today we are being attacked by a modern day axis of evil that threatens all freedom loving people.
The axis of disillusionment, fear and greed. These three powers have taken our culture by storm, infiltrating into every TV, radio and internet browser. And on the other side of this war lie the people of heroic character. They still exist. Yet, when heroes are mentioned, people are as likely to laugh as be combative. The tales of heroes, like our current war heroes, seem an exaggerated mythos to those who cannot conceive of the conviction it takes to do the right thing. And it is conviction at the heart of the matter. Yet, heroes do exist today and they exist all around us. Need proof? Zach Petkewicz’s quick thinking during the Virginia Tech shooting spree saved lives. Debra Boyd saved two people — a mother and her daughter — when a tornado hit the school where she worked. A store clerk talks with CNN’s John Roberts uncovers a plot to attack Fort Dix. See for more about this brave souls. And these people are the merest tip of the iceberg. The honest truth is the hero is you, if given the right opportunity and you make the right choices.
So, how do you react when faced with those choices? Do you risk and possibly sacrifice your own well being to help someone in greater need? Imagine what it would be like if we all felt such kinship. Even today’s career criminals are not entirely immune to this concept of camaraderie. The genesis of gangs was an effort to protect and serve one’s own. That noble origin might be a far cry from gang activity today. As disillusionment in society, fear of harm or death and greed to get whatever one could sets in, the concept is entirely lost to decadence. But ironically, their roots were about family. What if we could all broaden that sense of protection for what we perceive as “our own” until we literally had no outsiders left?
What if we could learn the values of tolerance, understanding and treat everyone as we do our inner circle? Imagine the future we could offer our children. And I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want a better life for their children.When Sen. Barack Obama asked his daughter what we are here on earth for, she replied, “To help each other get through this.” As children, we have that natural sense of community. Somewhere along the way, we get disillusioned about that communal instinct. Convinced that we can’t flourish with such “naive” standards as universal acceptance and brotherhood. So, we come to the adult stance of “might makes right” and “if they want something, they take it.” Whether verbal, social or physical, it all amounts to the same – bullying. In a way, that’s okay.
We have to find the bullies. We can’t discuss the issue unless we know who to discuss it with. Only then can we have a meaningful dialogue with them about what it really means to protect themselves and protect their families. We could start with a question: When did you lose that natural sense of brotherhood and sisterhood? What straw broke your back? Was it the constant fear of growing up in a bad neighborhood? Was it the disillusionment of friendship lost due to hard choices growing up? Was it a friend who turned his back to us for a payday? Whatever it was, it was not any one thing or person. It was those negative values we live with in this era of free thinking. Fear, greed and disillusionment. The current Axis of Evil.And the one thing that has been around, since World War II – since forever – is the inspiration of heroes that are larger than life to illuminate values we want to emulate in our lives. Whether it was Zeus, Superman, or Captain America, its easy to see why we find the myths compelling. They live above the moral spaghetti bowl we deal with and cut wide swaths through their problems with unbridled powers and clear conscience decisions.
And the question of the day, of our day, is do we want to focus on the fear, greed and disillusionment that surrounds us? Do we want to add to it by attacking and belittling each other? Or, possibly, do we want to emulate those traits of heroes past and present, real and fictional, that stand up for what is right? Do we want to have the moral fiber to stand against a bullying onslaught and respond with rational kindness and strength of character? The answer is in our actions and it is those actions that define us as hero or not. Regardless of your choice, throughout human history, one thing has remained constant. We all absolutely need to have heroes. Today, the world is in short supply. One exists inside everyone. Bring it out. Be the hero in your own life and I assure you, you’ll soon find you are a hero to many.