16 June 2018

Heroes

There's too much hero worshipping in this world. Often I have eschewed the very idea of heroes. It's the man or the woman in the street that I admire the most - decent people who forge decent lives in obscurity - pay bills, put food on the table, get up and go to work day after day after day. They are the real heroes, fighting the good fight.

Nonetheless, there are a few well-known people that I genuinely admire for different reasons. Dead heroes of mine include Captain James Cook, the Yorkshire mariner and explorer and Emily Bronte the Yorkshire writer who died far too young in 1848 at the tender age of thirty. Who knows what she would have achieved if she had lived a ,long and healthy life?

My living heroes include Bob Dylan, David Hockney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Amy Goodman  and Chris Packham.
Top - Chris Packham, Bob Dylan, Amy Goodman
Middle - Cristiano Ronaldo, Emily Bronte
Bottom - James Cook, David Hockney
I once saw the words "Dylan is God" written on a lavatory wall and I am inclined to agree with that summary. As an artist Yorkshire-born Hockney has never stopped growing, innovating, experimenting  and he doesn't give a fig about what critics might say for he is true to his Art.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Portugal is simply the greatest ever footballer and I thought this long before he scored his hat trick against Spain in The World Cup yesterday evening. He is blessed with natural talent and the kind of self-belief that borders on pure arrogance.

Amy Goodman is the heart and soul of "Democracy Now" an American  news organisation that  illuminates social and political issues which other news organisations tend to blot out for all manner of reasons. She is dignified and persistent in her mission - pushing for justice and better understanding day after day.

Finally, there's Chris Packham - an English writer and TV broadcaster who specialises in programmes about wildlife - especially birds. His passion is infectious and he has fought many battles against the forces that threaten wildlife. He was even arrested in Malta for protesting about men who shoot precious migrating birds for no good reason in the name of sport.

Who are your well-known heroes and why?

21 comments:

  1. Jimmy Carter, the former president is a hero of mine. He walks the true walk of a Christian instead of spouting off crap twisted from the Bible. Even though I am not a religious believer, I recognize someone who stands for the principles of his or her own belief when I see them. And Carter is one of those.

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    1. Interesting. America has had some very questionable presidents in my opinion but Jimmy Carter always came across as one of the good guys.

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  2. I totally agree with Ms. Moon about Jimmy Carter. He's a true humanitarian and has spent his decades since leaving the white house doing so much good in the world.

    Another hero of mine is Neil DeGrasse Tyson, along with the late, great Carl Sagan. We need more scientists and innovative thinkers in this world to continue moving humanity forward.

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    1. I must find out more about those two men Jennifer. Could you make it easier for me by making blogposts about them?

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  3. I think "hero" is a strong word. I admire different people for different reasons -- Jane Goodall, Joni Mitchell, Georgia O'Keeffe, James Baldwin, Harvey Milk, E. M. Forster, Gloria Steinem -- to name a few.

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    1. I take your point about "hero"... I guess it was not quite the right word for me either.

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  4. I do not think I have ever hero worshipped anyone except my lovely Tom, he is my absolute hero, friend, and everything else rolled into one, we are soul mates.
    Briony
    x

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    1. What a lovely thing to say. Tom is a lucky man.

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  5. I would agree with you about Dylan and add Bono, Mother Teresa, Marie Curie and Jimmy Carter. I liked Carter as a president but it is the way he lives his life that makes him a hero. He does not preach his religion or how to treat people - he lives it by example. I would add a personal favorite, Robert Frost, as a poet.

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    1. Interesting choices Bonnie. Good to see two women in there. Historically it has been much more challenging for women to become heroes/heroines.

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  6. I have always associated the word hero with someone who has performed a courageous act. I know it can also be used for people who have achieved something momentous or outstanding but in my simple mind they are not true heroes.

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    1. That's a good distinction Sue.

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  7. And there I was, living in the false belief, that I was in your list! Tsk! Tsk!

    Various meanings of the word "Hero" are below. I particular like No. 5 in the first group!!

    Hero:- Greek Mythology - A priestess of Aphrodite beloved by Leander.

    Hero.....

    1. A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life: soldiers and nurses who were heroes in an unpopular war.

    2. A person noted for special achievement in a particular field: the heroes of medicine.

    3. The principal character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.

    4. In mythology and legend, an individual, often a man of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for bold exploits, and favored by the gods.

    5. See submarine sandwich.

    Hero:

    1. A man distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, fortitude, etc,

    2. A man who is idealized for possessing superior qualities in any field

    3. (Classical Myth & Legend) classical myth a being of extraordinary strength and courage, often the offspring of a mortal and a god, who is celebrated for his exploits

    4. The principal male character in a novel, play, etc

    5. A person who is greatly admired; idol.

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    1. Well, seeing "hero" is the masculine/male now...and "heroine" is the female...the noun in discussion was the male/masculine, "hero".

      Heroine - (Similar to the masculine noun in meaning....except the female is not a Submarine sandwich. I wonder what the feminists will have to say about that!) :)

      her·o·ine (hĕr′ō-ĭn)
      n.
      1. A woman noted for courage and daring action.

      2. A woman noted for special achievement in a particular field.

      3. The principal female character in a novel, poem, or dramatic presentation.

      Heroine......
      noun
      1. a woman possessing heroic qualities

      2. a woman idealized for possessing superior qualities

      3. the main female character in a novel, play, film, etc

      noun .
      1. a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities.

      2. the principal female character in a story, play, film, etc.

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  8. Thank you for adding to thoughts about heroes Lee. In the second list there seems to be a male bias but I guess that historically that was the way of things. While men were busy being heroes or would-be heroes women were undertaking domestic duties and suchlike.

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    1. "women were undertaking domestic duties and suchlike."
      Oh, now that is a challenge to reply to, just reading Virginia Woolf, a Room of One's Own.
      Chapter and verse would fill in a few spaces ;)

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  9. Well, this is interesting. I've never stopped to think about who is the greatest. Like the first part of your post I just think of people doing a good job every day and being happy.

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    1. Okay. Thanks for stopping to think about this Red.

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  10. You asked for well-known heroes, so although I too think there are many everyday people who would qualify, I'll confine my list to these:

    Nellie McClung - writer and women's rights suffragist who was instrumental in the fight to allow women to vote in Canada

    Former President Jimmy Carter for the reasons other commenters have already described

    Bill and Melinda Gates, no introduction needed, for their philanthropic work around the world through the Foundation that bears their names

    Jack Layton, leader of the federal New Democratic Party in Canada until his death from cancer in 2011 - he was one of the very few leaders in politics who was truly a man of principle and integrity - similar to Pres. Carter

    Stephen Lewis - Canadian, former politician, worked with UNICEF, appointed United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, and founder of the Stephen Lewis Foundation that helps those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa, among his many achievements, also a man of principle and integrity

    I suppose it isn't strange that mine are mostly Canadians as that's what we hear most about on the news.

    Thanks for making me think about this topic, YP.

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  11. I'm not well known but I'm my own hero. I'm not going to be anybody else's!
    Anyone who keeps going with a good attitude despite hardship is a hero to me. There's a woman I know who was abused severely as a child, became an alcoholic, has many mental health issues, lived on the streets, got sober, got married, became a widow and has now developed problems with movement, speech and balance because of the head trauma inflicted on her long ago. She keeps going, doesn't even seem to momentarily drop her bundle. That's a hero

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  12. This was a very interesting subject, and I thank you for bringing it up. I read your post to O.K. and we discussed it while having coffee in bed on Sunday morning.

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