Friday, October 23, 2009

Heroes Take Flight

SupermanBatmanSpidermanFireballXL500RinTinTinLassie. (Repeat quickly, 5 times.)

It seems that, that's about the length of time today's super heroes last, regardless of whether they fly, swim, disarm, or morph.

A quick scan through the tv guide and it's evident that children are sorely missing out on the "When I grow up, I want to be just like _______." (See first sentence.) With the swinging door that is popular culture, today's hero rarely lasts a season. Incidentally, I think those heroes and their powers allowed the imaginations of children to take flight.

Who are the heroes of today - the ones that children look up to and want to emulate? Are they the "bad boys and girls", the crotch-grabbing dancers (When did this become acceptable?), the "Bling Bling" gang leaders or the Reality Show Wannabees?

Or, as my informal survey revealed, are they people such as, "Wayne Gretzky", "Obama", "My dad".

How wonderful if the heroes were those who have direct contact with the kids? An aunt, a teacher, mom or as my niece replied, "Dad." They're the ones who spend the time and model the behaviour that help to shape the next generation.

More often than not, they do not get the big headlines, appear on reality tv or command gigantic salaries - they are the ones who are there, behind the scenes, quietly cheering and gently (sometimes, not so gently) helping the young people take flight and reach new heights.

You don't need to fly, wear a cape or have super-human strength to make a difference and become an ordinary, everyday hero. In fact, you have everything you need to be that hero - ears to listen, eyes to see (and let them know they are visible) and arms to hug. Simple, isn't it?

Please visit the blogs of Ashok, Conrad, David, Grannymar, Maria, Maria and Ramana to see what magic they've worked with today's topic, as suggested by David - Heroes. Please join me in extending a warm welcome to our newest members - Helen and Judy.

Image courtesy of Ivan Petrov




12 comments:

  1. Marianna, you went with this right where I was originally going to go. But, I spontaneously changed simply because some of the old traditional heroes had fallen out of favor and I felt a need to re-examine that.

    Our relationship with our heroes are so essential, because that is our relationship with our ideals! Very nice examination in this post.

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  2. You are so right about needing close family members to be heroes! Great picture and a great post!

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  3. Great stuff, Marianna! Today's culture is like a revolving door, heroes last for a mere season - that thought will be with me as I go to sleep tonight.

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  4. Loved your post. It is so true, children need heroes. Heroes are still taught in our schools. I remember reading to my students about Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, Albert Schweizer, Mary Mcleod Bethune and a host of others through the years.

    I also agree with you that close family members are often the best examples of heroes. I know that was true for me growing up.

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  5. The problem with close family members as heroes in my case is the fact that the family as a whole did nothing to stop my immediate family from becoming a dysfunctional one. And to boot, my having to take on the mantle of the 'hero' for other members of the family. Not very enjoyable I can assure you. I looked outside for my heroes. Found them in plenty too.

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  6. In my young days the girls were mad for Cliff Richard or were prepared to run under a bus... if Dr Kildare (Richard Chamberlin) was the man to bring them back to life! As for hero worshipping someone who kicks or throws a ball around a field, I don't get it! Give me an ordinary every hero any day.

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  7. You know, when I first looked at the picture I thought it was a real plane. But now, I don't know, it looks like a paper plane. Which is it?

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  8. Conrad,
    You bring up a good point - "relationship with our ideals." Our ideals are our values. The values, for some, have certainly been skewed.

    Judy,
    I think the picture is of a paper airplane.

    Sometimes, given the situation, the children look elsewhere for heroes - hopefully, those heroes are ones that are worthy of the title.

    Gaelikaa,
    You can tell Alvin Toffler is on my mind, a lot. Currently re-reading his book.

    Maria,
    I think the hero lessons don't really sink in until much later in their lives.

    The heroes of today, for some children, are the ones with the most air time. In other words the biggest "in your face" time.

    I also think the quiet heroes are the ones who may not get recognised until later.

    Ramana,
    Unfortunately, as much as we wish it to be true, the dysfunction cannot be stopped by outside forces. I'm sorry that you had that to face.

    Grannymar,
    Oh, Dr. Kildare! Thanks for reminding me about him! :)

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  9. You are lucky if it lasts a season...You are hitting on one of my stressors. I work in higher ed and really have concerns for our youth for whom everything is fleeting. Used to be we would talk about 15 minutes of fame. Not any more. Heros last as long as a YouTube video. Not very long at all.

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  10. Marcia,
    Instant everything, including gratification.

    I understand your concerns completely.

    Read this article last week that touches upon this phenomenon.
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091019/entertainment/us_balloon_boy_culture

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  11. You can say that again. Growing up I always had my grandpa for an example. Having left his home with nothing but a cycle at the age of 10, he earned two degrees besides ensuring the education of his 10 something siblings (half siblings included). No matter how hard my troubles seem, I think of what he might have gone through and brush it aside. I just hope I can remember his story long enough to educate my grandkids about him in the future.

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  12. What a role model!

    No remembering involved, Ashok.

    You've got the blog ready - start writing. Your grandchildren can read all about him.

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