Don’t Wait on Heroes

Superhero, by Alan9187

Dear Son,

I will tell you a lot of tales of great heroes, mythical, and real.  A good hero story inspires us to be braver people.  It tells us what we could be capable of, and not just how to be a good person, but how to be a beautiful one: to be compassionate and a leader.

But there is a danger to tales of heroes that you need to be aware of.  Many people believe so hard in the archetype of the hero that they don’t take action for themselves.  When things are going wrong, when life is getting hard, when something terrible is happening, or there are evil influences shaping our culture, they wait for a special kind of leader – a hero to come and save them and tell them what to do, rather than saving themselves.

If everyone who was waiting for a hero stood up and did something on their own to make things better, then the problem would be solved, without ever needing a great hero to come in and solve things just in the nick of time.  That goes as true for fictional heroes like Herakles, Beowulf, or Superman as it does for real-life heroes like Socrates, or Winston Churchill, or Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t wait for a hero. Don’t wait for a movement or a group.  Don’t wait for a country or a corporation to start moving on a problem so that you can follow. Do something to fix the problems that you are passionate about fixing.  And maybe the person others will follow is you… Or maybe you’ll be the only one out there trying to make a difference, but at least you managed to do something to make the world a better place.



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