Sunday, February 8, 2009
Choose Your Heroes Wisely
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hero as “a man or woman admired for their achievements and noble qualities; one that shows great courage.” Both of these qualities have to be present in order for me to call someone a hero. This brings me to the hotly debated topic of our latest athlete (Michael Phelps) to hit the ranks as a “fallen hero.” In case you haven’t watched the news for a few weeks, Phelps has admitted to smoking marihuana. Is he a kid? Yes. Does this excuse him from breaking the law? No!
I think this is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to talk to their kids about “true heroes.” Is someone a hero if he or she is a great athlete? A movie star? A rock singer? A character in a story? The answer is “possibly.” The real test is whether or not they also possess the following qualities: loyalty, courage, dedication, selflessness, bravery and honesty. I’d like to accent the last one – honesty. How can we call someone a hero if he or she breaks the law? We can call them talented people, great athletes, amazing singers, but, if they are dishonest, if they are selfish, if the break the law, they shouldn’t be called heroes. Let’s pass this message on to our children loud and clear.
I’ve been thinking about the people who would be on my own list of true heroes. These came to mind: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King. As far as movie stars, there are Christopher Reeve and Paul Newman. In the news, there's Chesley Sullenberger. In sports, there are Cal Ripkin and Michael Jordan. Add to the list most police officers, firefighters and teachers. Also the brave men and women in our military. Of course my Mom and Dad. Then there’s Dr. Abendroth, the college professor who taught me to love children’s literature. There’s even Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk.
Who is your personal hero? I’d love to hear from you.
Don't forget to visit my website and see my fairy heroes.