Monday, October 12, 2009
Did you ever know that you're my hero...
Bette Midler's is one of my favorite voices -- I will long remember when Johnny Carson signed off the Tonight Show and Bette sang his tenure there to an end... And I am a sucker for such sentimental hits like "Wind Beneath My Wings." As much as I enjoy her voice, I do not look to Hollywood for my heroic figures. Actors and singers, directors and authors -- they have large sized talent in flawed and sinful lives -- much like the rest of us with smaller talents. But more and more those with big sized talents have made big size headlines not only for their failings but more as if they were above judgment and beyond the pale of right and wrong.
Letterman admitted his sins and turned it into comedy schtick (without much of an apology). Polanski's arrest for notorious if ancient crimes was met with an outcry among the Hollywood elite that it wasn't all that bad, it was a long time ago, and "can't we all just be friends?" Affairs and babies born out of wedlock have become the staple of the political circuit. Now Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize without a single piece of accomplishment that justifies his place among the heroic figures who earned the prize (Martin Luther King for civil rights, Mother Teresa for work among the poorest of the poor, etc.) I could go on but I won't. There is a point I want to make and it is not about the morality (or lack there of) among the Hollywood, political, or sports figures in America.
My point is this. We need heroes. We need people we can look up, admire, emulate... We need heroic figures who will call forth the best in us. We need people who are sinful but who do not parade their sins before us with justifications and excuses -- people who admit their failings, confess them, and still call forth a higher and nobler calling and who seek it themselves. I am not talking about perfect heroes but heroic figures whose flaws are not flaunted and who hold themselves to higher standards.
For those who thinking in religious terms and about to lecture me on the flawed righteousness of even the best of heroes on earth, I am not speaking in faith terms. I am speaking of heroes in the civil realm. I am speaking about people who inspire, people who encourage, people who call forth more from us -- in part by their own example and also because of their earnest character (even within the bounds of flawed humanity).
Look at the children of America -- who inspires them to be something more than a cash machine or a pleasure seeker? Yes we have a few people -- take Captain Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III whose calm and heroic actions saved so many lives on a plane that was not designed to land on water... Yes there are few Lutherans on that list of Nobel prize winners -- take