Heroes or Role Models?

I’m watching CNN Heroes Award Ceremony on TV tonight. They present amazing people and inspiring initiatives, from a woman helping kids that are caretakers (i.e. that help take care of sick family members) with their homework and organizing out of school activities so that they get some time to be children; a man providing a structure for people fighting drug and alcohol addiction, and another is helping poor kids in South Africa get through school and get a bite to eat; a woman teaching Afghan girls, another supporting teenage moms breaking the circle of poverty in the slums in Catalina, Columbia, and a third supporting rape victims on Haiti. Etc, etc, etc. Many of them have gone through similar challenges as the people they are trying to support and they are truly admirable individuals! Ironically, this ceremony is competing with the news of the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy and morning sickness, which they break for now and then, and the contrast in terms of importance could not been starker! But although I think that all these individuals are extraordinary (there are even children among them), I’m wondering if instead of being referred to as heroes, they shouldn’t be regarded as role models for the rest of us? Americans love heroes but to me, a hero is someone who is almost supernatural, whose deeds are something beyond that of ordinary human beings. By calling them heroes, haven’t we set our standards too low in our behaviors towards other humans? Without taking away all the admiration that I feel for these people, aren’t they simply role models for what actually should be expected from all of us?

Leave a Reply