Why We Need Heroes

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As a boy, I simply devoured all manner of stories about Heroes. Whether it was the comics I couldn’t get enough of, historical tales about brave leaders or the TV Show of my youth that always seemed to be filled with admirable folk, any saga that centered upon the strength, charisma and courage of heroic characters had me hooked from the get-go. I aspired to be as noble as superheroes like Green Lantern and Batman, was deeply moved by the toughness of soldiers and frontiersman like General Sherman and Daniel Boone and was electrified by live action performances on TV by heroic icons like Star Trek’s Captain Kirk or Luke McCain of The Rifleman. It really didn’t matter, the mold was the same, each and every story had someone put into a position where their mettle was tested under challenging conditions and no matter how strong their muscles, it was their heart and mind that was really what was on trial. And in the end, doing the right thing, no matter how much was asked of the protagonist was what mattered. And as gritty as the circumstances were, as brutal as the gauntlet was that had to be run, the Hero always displayed the wherewithal to come out victorious.
I think of those stories, those Heroes and the morals passed along to my generation a lot nowadays.
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The generation that grew up on such fare had its optimism sorely tested by the years ahead; the ugliness of the Viet Nam War, the savagery of the Race Clashes and Generational Struggles, the disillusionment of Watergate and the failure of the Counter-Culture Movement, the perversity of the Me Generation and the emptiness of the Go-Go 80s, just to name a few. And I know for certain that many of my generation have been lost to disaffection, cynicism, vituperative scorn and egocentrism. But for many of us, the belief in the betterment of mankind, helping society to reach a superior level of humanity and the quest for empathy is still with us. How that is the case is somewhat of a shock to me, and I am often mystified by the realization that I still have a degree of idealism residing in my soul, jaded as it is and untrusting as I have become. But I still believe in Heroes, still am convinced we need them more than ever and now have a deeper understanding of what makes a true Hero that is so vey needed in this degenerate era.
You can read more of this article in our Jan/Feb 2016 issue of ModelsMania
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