Jessica's Blog

What Makes a Hero?

What makes a hero?  As a child we’re time and again asked to write about our hero.  So often a child will pick a sports figure—a celebrity.  They will talk about how this person is important to them by mentioning his impact on the sport or how they wish to grow up to become like this person because of frivolous reasons, such as fame or money.  Children are impressionable and they do not always truly understand the reasons why they choose the things they do.  I don’t believe that choosing a sport’s figure as a hero is a bad thing but I do believe a serious issue can be illustrated with Tiger Woods’ fall from grace.  I remember watching the news one morning right after the scandal; there was a local piece done on a rising child-star of golf who worshiped the ground Tiger walked on.  The piece emphasized the idea that what Tiger did was wrong and this kid had every right to change his hero from Woods to Phil Mickelson.

To me, the problem is that children often fail to understand the difference between a hero and an idol.  The terms might as well be interchangeable to the majority of elementary students who find that the grown-ups they worship are unable to do any wrong.  Heck, adults often fail to see the difference between a hero and an idol as well!  However, in this instance, I think mothers and fathers are far more frustrated that this icon—someone who is so pervasive in the minds of children—allowed himself the right to take his marriage vows in vain.  Wood’s actions let down a whole bunch of people who believed in the image he allowed to be portrayed. So little of his personal life was known before the scandal; his image was his career.    With this being said, I wish to focus on the fact that no one is perfect.  I apply this point to one of the truest senses of a hero that I know—Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.    This man did many wonderful things for our nation and yet he had flaws as well; he committed adultery.  Do Dr. King’s adulterous actions make his contributions to America any less great?  Maybe, but I doubt it.  He’s proof that perfection is an unrealistic ideal; that greatness doesn’t mean you can do no wrong.  I believe a true hero is someone who understands his or her flaws and constantly tries to improve his or herself, for we are all capable of falling below the expectations of others and ourselves.  The trick is that we try to overcome these obstacles and become better people.  I hope that Tiger over comes his behavior and proves to everyone the reason why he should be a hero to his nation and to the world.


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