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Heroes in a Meh World

Last updated on September 27, 2020

Feb 2019. Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Why do we love heroes and what are they?

  1. Some people love Marvel heroes.

So my dad geeks out on Marvel. And his geekiness may be hereditary, as my little brother’s favorite topic, be it during leisurely lockdown/family walks now or the faster — borderline speed race — power walk towards the next ride at Disneyland (before Disney engulfed Marvel property) starts with, “Noelle, who’s your favorite hero in Marvel, and not DC?”

Hmm…. favorite….hero..… Marvel?

This is when I’m going to ask my dad and my brothers to stop reading and turn away. Asking me about my favorite Marvel hero is kinda like when I (in)advertently refer to their action figures as collectible dolls ;).  And no offense, Stan Lee, but when I think of heroes, it goes way, way beyond the Avengers. Heck, it’s so much more than the Avengers, Jedi, and Star Trek all rolled into one.

I’m talking about real people walking amongst us in real life and surviving ordinary struggles without relying on fictitious tools or powers, but living still in a truly extraordinary way that sets them apart from the rest of us mere mortals.

  1. There are even greater heroes – those who are unafraid of bending a knee to a higher value.

We live in a time and world where things are changing so quickly from one week to another. Not too long ago in the first outbreak of coronavirus, doctors and first-line responders were our heroes. More recent headlines with #BLM speak of George Floyd as a hero without saying anything more about him than his skin color and how he was cruelly killed by the police. Yes, black lives matter. Every life is precious. 

George Floyd was unjustly killed and is arguably a symbol of valuing people beyond the color of their skin. With that said, I stop short at using the label of a hero, because true heroes by definition exemplify courage and admirable virtue. And we need heroes. We are desperate for examples we can look up to and pull us up from a meh world. We need them more than we need celebrity eye candy who come and go with each Instafam trend because we hunger for perennial values of goodness, truth, patriotism, and beauty. We need heroes truly giving themselves to others day in and day out and showing what’s golden in the Golden Rule.

Heroes are more heroic when they show us by example more than by words.

  1. Heroes not only preach higher values, but they lay their lives for it, as the martyrs do.

Heroes don’t just tell us what not to do (e.g. don’t be that white cop killing black lives) but they lead by example on what TO DO, transcending time and race. Regardless of race, creed, gender, people applaud Mother Teresa’s heroic life given to the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, or Maximilian Kolbe volunteering his life in exchange for the young dad in a concentration camp. 

  1. We have heroes in disguise among us, and they’re called dads.

But we don’t have to fly to India or Germany to look for heroes (especially during this pandemic!).  Heroes are among us, and we call them dads.

Dads are heroes and daily symbols.

  1. What makes a great dad?

No capes are necessary. Dads are our frontline protectors who would slay any dragon or evil power for their children. I know, because my brothers and I’ve been blessed with a really strong powerhouse of a dad. I can honestly say that he’s the best dad I’ve ever had ;).  As long as I can remember, as long as he is near, I feel safe and protected. And that sense of being loved and cared for lets me run free and soar.

  1. Most famous and the most perfect prayer is the one that God Himself taught us, and that’s called “Our Father.” 

This unshakable belief that with my dad to protect me I can do anything gives meaning and color to the most famous and the most perfect prayer, the “Our Father.” Contrary to what some misinformed feminists might say, to call God “Our Father” is no disrespect to women. God also gave us His mom who also happens to be the Queen of Heaven and Earth. And just as the prayer says, the notion of Father is one who is king, provider, and mercy.  

Because I have a dad who watches over me every day and wants only the very best for me out of love for me, it’s so much easier to imagine God the Father who I can’t see, but loves me very powerfully and is the core of my being.

Gratitude to dads who are heroes in a meh world.

  1. Some people have a tough time equating God with Father because of their personal tough times with their own father.

It’s like when actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus accepted her Emmy award and chose to thank her father in the few moments she was allowed for her televised speech, “I’m so glad he liked me because his opinion was the one that really mattered.”  It’s no wonder that this talented actor, comedian, and celebrity looked up to her father. Science shows the irreplaceable importance of fathers in each of their children’s lives. 

Children who grow up with loving, present fathers have so much of an advantage. And for that reason, I am grateful for my dad who is a hero in a meh world. He took the good he learned from his dad and overcame the difficulties daily life threw at him, to set the example of the dad he’d like for his own children. What would be really cool is if Marvel Studios would use these true hero stories for their blockbuster movies!

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