Photo by andyt25 on Morgue File.
When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?
When I was five years old, I . . . I . . . well, I’m not sure who my hero was! I was five years old way back in 1979. I would suppose, like most five-year olds, my hero was my mom or dad or grandparents. I mean, I did like Rocky Balboa, but I’m not sure I had seen the movie by the time I was five years old. I like Star Wars, but again had I seen it by the time I was five? I do not know. Of course, I’m sure I knew of Superman and Batman or Spiderman by that time. Who doesn’t want to wear a cool cape and go flying through the air as fast as a bullet?!
As far as family goes, as a child (for most anyway) you look up to those adults in your life. In some ways, they seem larger than life. When you are five years old, you still think good old mom and dad can do basically anything. My four-year old is in that same boat. Sometimes she becomes frustrated with me or my wife because we are not able to do what she wants. In her mind, if she wants or needs it, then we should be able to do it! For instance, if she wants a glass of milk, but we have no milk in the house at that moment, she does not understand the problem. She thinks her mom or me should be able to whip up milk out of the thin air!
Of course, as we get older we understand that our parents are not superheroes. Your mother can not leap tall buildings in a single bound. Your father is not the strongest person on the face of the earth. They can not whip up a cold glass of milk out of thin air! They may be able to do many and wonderful things, but they are not Superman and Superwoman in disguise; at least, not in the comic book sense.
However, as you grow older and possibly become parents yourself, you realize that your parents and grandparents are more heroic than Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman ever could be. Heroism often times is not the grand feats of strength or ridding the world of some diabolical, alien nemesis. Rather, it is in the day in, day out sacrifices that moms and dads make all the time. It is putting their children’s needs before their own. It is going the extra mile or two or three, to see that their needs are met and provided for as best they can. It is also about teaching their children life lessons; teaching them humility and grace and sacrifice and forgiveness. It is about saying “No” from time to time, because the child does not need a hot rod when he is seven years old!
As far as the movies go, I liked Rocky because I tend to pull for the underdog. In Star Wars, I had mixed emotions. I have been prone to pull for the villains in certain movies. In Star Wars, I liked Darth Vader. I knew he was the proverbial bad guy, but I thought he was pretty cool! There have been other movies where I secretly was rooting for the bad guy to win.
Why? I do not know. Maybe I’m warped! Maybe I would like to see the unusual ending, where the guy in the black hat wins and rides off into the sunset with the girl. Of course, in life I’m not sure this is so uncommon! But, in the moves, by and large, the good guy, wearing the white Stetson, wins the day.
I actually wrote a short story a few months ago (in response to a Daily Prompt) where the bad guy won! You can find that story HERE if you are interested in reading it.
Heroes, mentors, teachers all these are important in our lives. We should be grateful for their contributions and the sacrifices they make in our lives. Even more, we should strive to be that for our own children or others that we can help and encourage. And we can do that, whether our hat is white or black!
Feel free to comment and discuss!