Saturday, March 24, 2012

So...What is a Hero?

Since the passing of Whitney Houston I have grown tired of the negative comments about her. She was one of the greatest singers the world has ever known and should be remembered as such. When her home town lowered their flag to half mast it caused such a huge public outcry across our nation that really kinda makes me sick. Does anyone out there truly believe that the town intentionally tried to dishonor even one single soldier by doing this? They were simply showing love for one of their own. I just can’t even force myself to find fault with that.

There are those that want to argue that the flag should only be lowered for real heroes…not celebrities. The meaning of hero is a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. Whitney Houston certainly had ability and was admired by millions, so unless we change the technical meaning of hero, Whitney actually was one. Doesn’t matter that everything in her life wasn’t perfect and in order. She had a disease she couldn’t beat and had an addiction she couldn’t control and she paid a terrible price for it…her life. None of which in my eyes makes her a all bad person.

To all the little girls out there that imitated Whitney Houston during her hey day…she was a hero. Just as growing up we all had our own heroes. I can remember being young and to my moms horror I wanted to be Evel Knievel. He rode a motorcycle and jumped over things and that’s all it took for me and millions of other little boys. We didn’t care that he drank a lot, gambled on sports and blew lots of cash…he was still our hero. As I got older my heroes changed. Learning guitar as a teenager, Eddie Van Halen came along and took over the top spot for me. He remains there to this day. Does he have his faults and weaknesses, of course he does…we all do. Doesn’t take away from his ability.

What happened over the years to turn this nation from a compassionate one to such a angry spiteful one. Well the media plays a pretty significant role in this. Compassion stories simply don’t sell as well as bashing and name calling stories. Selling copy has become more important than real writers writing real stories. I agree that the men and women that fight on the front lines of war for us are heroes. But, so many others out there are heroes to others only in different ways. I believe every fallen soldier should be honored by not only their home town but by the whole nation. These soldiers simply aren’t known worldwide and don’t receive the same amount of attention and media longevity that the celebrities do. Doesn’t make it right, it’s just how it is. So…what is a hero? Guess that depends on who you are doesn’t it? We should all take the “pay it forward” concept and run with it. A little respect for others can go a long way.