Thursday, 2 December 2010

Whatever happened to heroes?

When I was a kid I had a whole host of heroes. I had fictional heroes, like liono. I had footballing heroes, like Ugo Ehiogu (or Juninho). I was used to the idea of looking up to people who seemed to be better than me.
As I've grown up I've sort of gradually grown out of heroes. Liono turned out to be a moralising prude and Ugo Ehiogu got old, slow and rubbish. Throughout life you quickly realise that heroes are flawed and tend to fail and so you give up having them.

However, I've been thinking about this a lot recently and have reached the conclusion that actually the largest reason why people grow out of having heroes has nothing to do with other people and everything to do with their view of myself. What I reckon happens is that we grow up and we become more and more self satisfied and so we have less and less heroes. We forget our weaknesses and failings (which we were so aware of when we were kids) and instead convince ourselves we're awesome explaining away and mistakes we make through a variety of adult means.

As a Christian I accept that I am imperfect but still fall into this self satisfied trap. I need to learn to recognise that other people are better than me. They are more godly, they are more patient, they are kinder, they are more passionate or whatever and I need to therefore look up to them and seek to be more like them. After all Paul (the apostle) calls on people to imitate him.

Yes heroes are flawed and if you're looking for perfection they will let you down. Yes you do have to be careful about building people up too much. However, if the solution to this is simply being self satisfied and assuming you have nothing to learn from other people then I wonder if we need to learn to have a slightly lower view of ourselves and get a few heroes back into our lives!