What is a Hero, not the sandwich but the person? What constitutes a hero and what drives the need for a hero? My hero’s now are not the same as they were when I was a child. As a kid, I liked Spiderman, Jacque Cousteau, John Wayne, the Lone Ranger, and James Bond. Of course Spiderman is not real, neither is the Lone Ranger or James Bond, but as a kid, you tend to have childish hero’s. The older I get, the more I like to read and that would probably make my high school English teacher both happy and made it took me so long. I was watching an old movie called ‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’ and I began to wonder about the need for hero’s and the hero’s throughout history. The Scarlet Pimpernel is obviously a fictitious literary person, but the idea struck me that, at the time of great despair, the need for a hero that the people can believe in is great. The greater the despair in the people, the greater the need for the people to have a hero that they can believe in. Take Zorro for instance. A rich man who dresses as a masked champion for the people who are being mistreated by a despot. Batman is much the same in the imaginary Gotham City, only the people are being mistreated by various criminals that the normal police department can’t handle. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi who, even though he was an animal, took on the cobra that was terrorizing the family that had adopted him. Beowulf who through great courage defended his people from Grendel. Cyrano deBergerac who sacrifices his love of Roxane for his friend and soldier Christian and maintains the false memories and superficial love that Raxane had for his friend. Sherlock Holmes who uses the power of deduction and logic to solve the crimes that the ordinary police can not. And let us not forget Robin Hood, who with the help of the Merry Men, stole back the exorbitant and illegal taxes that the Sherriff of Nottingham was extorting from the people.
In each case, we see the hero sacrificing of himself for the benefit of one person to the benefit of many. So, who is the bigger hero? The one who sacrifices for a friend at the expense of the hero’s happiness or the person that sacrifices for the good of the many? You cannot compare Cyrano deBergerac with the Scarlet Pimpernel because the Scarlet Pimpernel sacrificed his fortune and risked his life to save the French citizens from a wrongful conviction that would lead to the guillotine. Sherlock Holmes and Batman and the other comic book hero’s are much the same in that they solve a crime or help reign in a criminal. But Zorro, the Lone Ranger, Robin Hood and the Scarlet Pimpernel were fighting for the people at large. So you have to give more credit to them than to those like Cyrano, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, Sherlock Holmes and the Green Hornet. Then there are the hero’s that bring attention to the unknown or those in need like Jacque Cousteau or Uncle Tom. Let us not forget Winston Smith of ‘Big Brother’ who is a looser hero. He loses everything and has no effect on the enemy. No one was able to fight Big Brother and no one was aware of the knowledge he became aware of. He lost to the establishment. And Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, after dispatching the evil cobra and her offspring lived a very good life after. Let us not forget the soldier who becomes government property to protect and defend the ideals of his country. When the United States of America has an all-volunteer military, you have to give credit to the person willing to serve. Speaking of serving, the police officer, especially in today’s toxic environment must be given credit. He has a bulls eye painted on him by not only the criminals, but racists that claim all police are the enemy, namely the anti hero Louis Farrakhan or Jessie Jackson and the like who actually help keep racism alive and profit from it. Or the firemen who run towards that which normal people run from.
So who is the bigger hero? Who would be the biggest hero? We have determined that the hero that sacrifices for the benefit of the many is better than the hero that sacrifices for the benefit of the few. We do not discount the sacrifice, but we are only trying to determine the value of the sacrifice.
Jesus of Nazareth would most definitely be considered the greatest hero. His sacrifice is for the benefit of the greatest number of people. Here we have God himself, the most powerful being that created the world and the universe with just the power of his word. He did not have to be lead to the cross. He could have, with a single word, had a host of angels save him from the most heinous of deaths. One saved for non Roman citizens only because of just how cruel and inhumane it was.
So, here we are in America on the brink of a collapse. We are at the preverbal precipice of future darkness and I ask you, in a few short years, who will we in America be reading about and wishing would save us from despair? Superman, Batman, a modern day Scarlet Pimpernel? Who will you be wishing for? Can you see someone like Donald Trump donning a mask and fighting evil? Or Mike Bloomberg secretly fighting against his own policies. Or George Soros acting like Zorro. Laughably not. Or maybe we, collectively, are to mature for a hero even when he is right in front of you.