Before I get into the blog, you have to watch this video. I don’t know when or where it was made, but it made me smile.
I’m sitting at home alone tonight. My wife is out of town caring for her aunt and my daughter is up at her boyfriends. It’s a good time to reflect. I recently read a great article by John Hope Bryant in Forbes called Stop Trying to Get Rich and it made me wonder, where have all our heroes gone?
The article put me in a reflective mood and after spending some time at the bookstore after dinner, I bought the movie The Right Stuff and watched it when I got home. The movie portrayed America’s first astronauts during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Yes, I know the world has always been a turbulent place. But… back then we had heroes. Real heroes. We had men and women who sacrificed their time and their lives to achieve great things. There were people like Chuck Yeager who braved “demons” as he challenged the sound barrier. There was of course the Mercury Seven and let us not forget the astronauts of Apollo 1, Space Shuttle Challenger and Space Shuttle Columbia.
There were other heroes of the time too. Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana. We looked to business icons like Lee Iacocca, and Sam Walton. We had sports heroes like Roger Staubach, Bart Starr, “Broadway” Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Michael Jordan, Bruce Jenner, Mark Spitz, Mary Lou Redden, Carl Lewis, Hank Aaron, George Foreman and yes even Mohammed Ali. I know, they weren’t perfect. Yet, they made a generation or two believe that we could become better.
In the entertainment world we had stars such as Robert Redford, Barbara Streisand, Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Vanessa Redgrave, Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster, Jerry Lewis, Henry Fonda, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Katherine Hepburn, Julie Andrews and tons of others. Again, not perfect. But, their lives didn’t seem as chaotic as the lives of stars we have today.
Where have all our heroes gone? Who are our spiritual leaders? Researchers have identified that Generations X and Y have no real heroes. They are generations that have no strong figures to which they can identify and aspire to be like. Instead I turn on the television and I see shows, tons of shows, that make promiscuity, being self-centered and using drugs seem second nature. I had a first grader come up to me in Sunday School last week flashing gang signs, thinking it was cool. First grade! Where are his heroes?
Where have all our heroes gone? Feel free to let us know what you think!
All the best!
All the time!