Too many heroes in the world ?

Hero is a phrase that is used very easily these days. It seems that the news is full of people who they class as heroes. From soldiers to random acts of bravery, the tag is slapped around so much that it’s beginning to lose it’s once gloss. The lustre has been dulled by the overuse. Everyday someone is ‘awarded’ the title. If this carries on then everyone will be a hero, at least for fifteen minutes as per Andy Warhol.

There are worthy contenders to the crown of heroes. Those who unselfishly risk their lives to help those in danger, those who give unreservedly to others without a thought for themselves. They are all people we should admire and look up to, even emulate, but are they really heroes ? The more we use the tag then the more it gets diluted until we get to the stage where its worthless. Maybe we need a new phrase to describe the real heroes in our lives.

I have lots of people I look up to. People whose way of life or deeds they perform leave me wanting to follow their examples. Of these there are only three I hold up as heroes, true superheros that is ūüėČ Ones who don’t quite get onto the plinth include the incredible Billy Bragg, the inspirational Marcus Sedgwick and Jeremy Corburn. All of these have taught me lessons in life and by their way given me something that I can add to my life. However the three who really top the pedestal give me so much of the way I want to live my life.

The first I guess is my dad. He inspired me in so many ways from inspiring me to read, to providing me with music to listen to. He is sorely missed most days, no one comes close to him. He taught me that it was more important to be kind than important. He taught me to always look for the good in people and never to give anything up without trying it fully. I wish he was here today.

The other two are both figures from history, neither of them living (is this a thing?) Both taught me different ways to tackle a problem. The first Nelson Mandela advocated using violence to further his cause. Whilst I never think that is a good idea it’s more what he did later that gained my admiration. When he became President of South Africa he realised that if the country was to get back as one he had to forgive those who persecuted him. He had to work with the white minority to bring a better country. This was a humbling thing to do as it meant he effectively forgot the way he was treated.

The other is Mahatma Gandhi. His wisdom and refusal to bow o pressure whilst advocating non-violence sets him apart from the rest of the world. He led India from a colony to being independent, yet never sought office. The inspiration from his life makes him truly a hero. The sadness of his death by violence is incredible but his legacy lives on. His quiet mannered style and his refusal to compromise set him apart fro the crowd.

I wish the world had the likes of my dad, Mandela and Gandhi now. We are going through a period of great intolerance towards our fellow man. We desperately need a bright light to guide us through these troubled times.


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Shaun Nightshade

Writer, designer, blogger, dreamer

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