Thoughts, Musings, and the Occassional Bit of Wisdom

Let’s Not Confuse Heroes with Idols

On my post front page I used the Mr. Rogers quote that so many are using right now and none more eloquently than my friend Andrea at:

to remind us that “Love Wins”.

I’m concerned that there is a tendency these days to use “hero” as a word that is completely interchangeable with the word “idol”.  They aren’t the same and they never should be!

In Boston we saw what true heroes look like. They were first responders, doctors, nurses, paramedics, military personnel and perhaps most importantly everyday citizens who ran toward the blast rather than away from it. They may not have had any training but they ran to help.

They may not be any different from the person who jumps into freezing water to save someone while disregarding the danger to themselves. Where saving someone else is more important than perhaps saving themselves.

I’m not denigrating in any way those people who literally ran for their lives. It’s human instinct and in all likelihood most of us would run.

But I said “most of us”. Those brave people who ran toward the blast without any regard for their personal well-being are all heroes. They didn’t start out the day thinking “I’m going to be a hero today” but that’s what they ended up being.

In the news reports we saw ordinary citizens without training and inadequate medical supplies trying to save a life or get someone out of harm’s way.

They didn’t stop and think, “I wonder what religion this person is” or “I’m not too keen on the color of that person’s skin, I think I’ll help someone else.” No, they helped who they could with what they had.

Most of us have probably seen what will be an iconic photo from the carnage. A man in a cowboy hat, holding the artery from a man’s leg with his bare fingers so that the man won’t bleed to death. What isn’t shown in most pictures is the devastation to this man’s legs. Yet here we have a man doing what he can in the face of the carnage.

Maybe you don’t know the entire story of this man with the hat. The man’s name is Carlos Arredondo. He was in the VIP section across from the first blast. Veterans were running the race in honor of their fallen comrades. He was there in honor of this son who was killed in Iraq. He was also mourning the loss of his youngest son who committed suicide after his older brother’s death because he couldn’t visualize life without him.

If anyone should have been running away from the carnage it was Carlos Arredondo but he was one of the first bystanders on the scene.

So let’s remember that these are the real heroes and not a singer who catches a lucky break, not the pro basketball player who makes that game winning three pointer, not the star quarterback who makes the best throw of his career or the receiver who grabs it.

These people aren’t heroes. They are idols.

So the next time you hear someone or even yourself say, “He’s my hero” referring to one of these idols, please remember one thing:

There’s a reason the TV show is called American Idol and not American Hero.

So if you want to, feel free to idolize the entertainers, sports figures, and wealthy entrepreneurs  but for the sake of the real heroes please don’t call these people heroes because they’re not.


0 Comments on “Let’s Not Confuse Heroes with Idols

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross
    April 16, 2013

    I love your point about American Idol – very well taken and an excellent post, too. Thanks, Nelson.

    • Nelson - One Old Sage
      April 17, 2013

      Thanks Lynette. I’ve been bugged by this false her worship for sometime. This seemed like an appropriate time to make my concerns known. Thanks for reading it.

  2. Audra
    April 16, 2013

    Well said, Nelson!

  3. ramblingsfromamum
    April 16, 2013

    Nelson what can I say apart from, how true your words ring. I have read a bit in the paper today and seen photos, but probably not to the extent that you are getting over there. How sad it is for indeed us mortals to pay homage or idolise someone to the extent of being a hero, when there are others how you so eloquently wrote helped others and put their own lives at risk, disregarding the colour of their skin or their religion. Well said Nelson…simply well said.

    • Nelson - One Old Sage
      April 17, 2013

      Thank you so much for taking the time to make a comment. Coming from someone who has such a great grasp of the eloquent word it is most appreciated.

      • ramblingsfromamum
        April 17, 2013

        Oh Nelson you flatter me, for I do not feel that I have a great grasp of the eloquent word. I have an imagination but my words let me down more times than I would like. I enjoy your posts and I thank you for writing them.

  4. mango1531
    April 16, 2013

    Well said, thanks for the link.. You bring up a sentiment I often come back to, celebrities / idols aren’t Heroes, I loved how you phrased that

    • Nelson - One Old Sage
      April 17, 2013

      Thanks Andrea. I was having trouble writing this as I had to keep my emotions/anger under control as I was trying to figure out how to blend in the idol/celebrity angle. It could have easily turned into a rant and I didn’t want that. You are welcome for the mention and the link. You deserve it.

  5. claywatkins
    April 17, 2013

    how true, Great point. if you want to be a leader – learn to serve, serve well and others will follow. Serve first, lead second. Cool Gravatar, always love the sea.

    • Nelson - One Old Sage
      April 17, 2013

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. The Gravatar photo was taken on the Island of Rhodes above the town of Lindos at the old fortress and temple. We love the sea and spend the majority of our big vacations cruising. Thanks again and drop by anytime.

  6. coachdaddyblogger
    April 24, 2013

    My 8-year-old daughter made a poster weeks ago, without provocation, that read simply, “it takes heart to be a hero.” She wants to hang it in the school gym. I’m glad to say she shares your accurate depiction of what a hero really is.

    Well said.

    • Nelson - One Old Sage
      April 24, 2013

      Thank you for the compliment and for taking a look at my posts. I appreciate it. You’ve obviously taught your daughter well. Good job to both of you.

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