Posted by: altmike | January 20, 2013

Reconsidering our Heroes

Growing up we tend to pick a few individuals that we idolize. For me, I looked up to sports stars, unparticular Michael Jordan and Mark McGwire. Even though I didn’t know them personally and they had never done anything specifically for me, I considered them my heroes. They added intrinsic value to my life just by merely watching them perform. As I have gotten older, my heroes have begun to change due to the fact that I have not only learned more about the idols I had, but also because I have found new people to look up to.

Lance-Armstrong-3A few days ago, I was having a conversation at work with a coworker of mine. The topic was sports of course as it normally is, but more specifically we were talking about the Lance Armstrong story. Now I looked up to Armstrong as much as anyone did a few years ago, however once the news about steroid allegations surfaced, I began to lose faith in him. This was exactly the argument that my co-worker brought up; we shouldn’t advocate our children to idolize sports stars because more times than not they end up being not the person we thought they were. They are unstable role models because they, like everyone else, can get into trouble and by constantly being in the spot light, every move and every mistake is publicized. Which then in turn, gives our kids a false reality of the types of people that they should be looking up to.

Many might say that contrary to my argument, “we should just tell our kids to pick the right people to look up to or guide them into that decision.” In my opinion that isn’t realistic, because there is no telling which sports or celebrity icon is going to tarnish their reputation next. Who in a million years would have guessed 8 years ago that the name Lance Armstrong would come with a negative connotation? Nobody… Look at one of my idols for instance, Mark McGwire. He lied to the public about steroid use and is now considered a cheater. Is that the best person to look up to?

The moral of the story is that I believe that we should idolize those who are close to us or people that we have somewhat of a relationship with. More often than not, you will be looking up to them because of their outstanding character, morals and leadership rather than how many touchdowns they threw. Trust me; I still look up to sports stars but for different reasons than from my childhood. Most importantly I idolize my family members, my friends, leaders in my community and coaches I have had throughout the years. When it comes down to it, they have influenced my life in a positive manner more than Michael Jordan could ever do. we should persuade our kids to look up to people who have made an impact or who have overcome adversity to motivate them to do their best. A hero should only be considered one if he or she has impacted your point of view or perspective on life in a positive way.

imagesThink about who you idolize and why. Think about the people that you advocate for your children to look up to as well. Let me know what you think about this perspective in the comment section below!

Can’t is not an Excuse

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Responses

  1. Hello, Mike,

    Like every kid I had some heroes in my childhood too. Well, I was never into sports, so my heroes were movie actors (and their characters). As I grew older, the life eventually became more diversified, so did I and my perception of the world. I realized that people who were my heroes – they just played their roles to earn some money, etc. However, now I understand their reasons and I’m still thankful to them for creating those images and role models I admired in my childhood.

    Also I completely agree that very often we tend to idolize those whom we’ve never seen and who did almost no impact on us directly: movie/sport/music starts. At the same time the real heroes surround us every day – people who help us to walk through life: our family and friends.

    • Thanks for the comment Alex. I couldn’t agree more! the toughest part about heroes is deciding who you are going to idolize and being able to accept the fact that nobody is perfect. Family, friends and mentors should always be at the top of the list though as you said.


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