Saturday, November 2, 2013

Who are the heroes?

As I think about the saints and the heroic works of faith they accomplished, I came across this article and it got me to thinking about heroism today (hat tip Episcopal Cafe):

How Professional Athletes Can Transform Into Heroes By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kids need heroes. Heroes provide models of exemplary behavior to emulate. Heroes inspire kids to achieve more than they thought they were capable of, to find strength when they thought they didn’t have any more, to follow a code of moral conduct when it would be easier and maybe more popular not to.  But when it comes to sports figures, Americans seem a little confused about what defines a hero. [...]
In general, professional athletes aren’t any better. Yet, why do we persist in turning athletes into heroes? One reason is that they embody an important aspect of the American Dream. Many professional athletes come from economically depressed backgrounds. Yet, through enormous discipline and dedication, they have made themselves into successes. They now have lots of fame, friends, finances, and fans. Every child’s dream.

While we should applaud them for their achievements, we shouldn’t yet elevate them to the status of heroes. Being a hero depends on what they do next...
I would say that is true of the saints we remember, they had faith, they were just like you and me, but what they did next helped define them for generations...

Read the article.  It is well worth your time.

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