The Olympics are coming. You're going to hear the word Hero a lot. I suspect what they really mean is role model. Someone to look up to and admire. Though there are times when Olympic athletes not only inspire their fellow countrymen but also change the way the world views them.
I've been thinking about heroes. About the strong Alpha males who grace the fronts of pocketbooks. Tough guys who lead nations to greatness, save the world, get the girl. They entertain me in the realm of fiction but I suspect life with one of those heroes would be annoying in the extreme. Extreme being the operative word.
How come accountants, garbage men and busboys rarely appear as the main character? They manage crises and get the girl. Their lives may even involve the occasional high drama. Who says their lives aren't interesting?
Basically heroes are protagonists but the word hero has come to mean so much. Our expectations of such men are high. They are well nigh on perfect. And while that's hard to take in real life, for some reason we desire it in fiction.
I wonder how many of our real-life heroes would translate onto the written page. When I think of the men I admire who have changed the world, few of them did it through sword play or intrigue. Many of them quietly and steadfastly stood their ground for what they believed in.
Hero. What does it mean to you?