Andrea: “Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.”
Galileo: “No, Andrea…Unhappy is the land that needs a hero!”
–Bertolt Brecht, Galileo
“The fate of the hero is linked to the secularization and disenchantment of the modern world. Ours is said to be an age without God, without heroes, and ultimately, without selves… A great many of us have lost our sense of self. Like Alice in Wonderland, we are unable to articulate who we are… ours is an age without heroes or in which heroism is reduced to mere celebrity… without cultural heroes common to all, who represent ideals, we may lose a common sense of what binds us together so our culture itself begins to fragment.
Heroes serve as centers of moral space. They signal to what one’s life is called to or committed… (they) are more than figures we admire… in some way, we emotionally identify with a hero… they are further along on our journey, because they have responded to the same call to which we respond… We stand with our heroes, to uphold the values they uphold. For those who have them, heroes are an important inner marker of identity. They are a part of the landscape of the soul.
If it is true that we lost our sense of heroic calling, then the 3 losses—the loss of God, the loss of heroes, and the loss of selves—seem to go together.
God, heroes, and selves all partake of the sacred while the central tendency in the collective life of modern/postmodern culture is profoundly profane and secular… Moral vision is essential to selfhood (identity). Traditionally, in the west, God was the source and foundation of the good (godly)… the heroic is itself closely tied to a religious sensibility, a sensibility, we are seeing, that seems on the wane.
The word hero comes from the Greek ‘heros’ (as referenced by Dad in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”), meaning “God-person,” the person charged with the charisma of the holy and sacred… for those who have them, heroes (usually) symbolize (embody) moral (godly) ideals… humility, integrity, dedication, vision, and courage.” —Douglas V. Porpora
“No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.” -Carlyle
According to Marshall Fishwick, “the search and need for heroes is inherent in human history… (but) heroes have become increasingly attenuated (reduced in force and value) with secularization (worldliness, irreligious). In ancient times heroes were demigods, in the middle ages they were God’s representatives, in the Renaissance they were truth-seekers, and in the 19th century=self-made men. Today, there has been a kind of leveling of heroes (with the rise of capitalism). The charismatic (godly) hero, the hero bespeaking transcendental horizons, is (as) dead…”
“The modern world worships heroes of talent, beauty and power. But this is new, a change from days gone by. Previous generations honored heroes for what they possessed that others could emulate.” –Mansfield
Leo Lowenthal documents, “a shift during the early 20th century in the kind of heroes celebrated by the media. Whereas before, American capitalism lauded ‘idols of production,’ people who actually do something…after WWII, media heroes became mere ‘idols of consumption,’ athletes, movie stars, and entertainers. This shift reflects a greater cultural orientation toward leisure lives.” “Celebrities have replaced heroes in modern culture. Whereas heroes were famous because they were great, clebrities are great because they are famous. the celebrity is a person known for his well-knownness (and moral neutrality or negativity). Celebrities are not moral beacons that fill us with purpose, but empty receptacles into which we pour our own purposeless (fitting heroes for an age without metanarratives=big stories w/ absolutes, truth and reference pts)” -Daniel Boorstin
“We continue to clamor for the very qualities we’re rendering impossible. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
“Let us not be complacent about our supposed capacity to get along without great men. If our society has lost its wish for heroes and its ability to produce them, it may well turn out to have lost everything else as well.” -Arthur Schlesinger Jr.
The purpose of this blog is to ignite hope and inspire heroism. Every life story and truth testimony told here may serve to invite us to intimacy with the Living God, while calling us to courageous action.
”Christianity has survived and thrived miraculously, in the midst of terrible dangers, chiefly because it has found concrete embodiment in human lives of persuasive quality, and the most persuasive of all qualities is that of genuine affection. One demonstration is worth a hundred arguments, for though doctrines may be impressive, it is experience that is convincing.” -Elton Trueblood
Brothers and sisters, “hear the word of the Lord… the people who know their God shall be strong (courageously loyal), and carry out heroic deeds -Dan.11:32 …return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope (God dreamers). Even today…I will restore double to you. For I have bent Judah (praise and thanks), My bow, fitted with Ephraim (fruitfulness and harvest), and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you like the hero’s sword -Zech.9:12-13 …keep your eyes open, stand fast in the faith (hold to your convictions), be brave (heroic, be strong with relentless love) -1Cor.16:12-13.
“We need to remember and search for our roots in the luminaries, risk-takers & movements of the church through the centuries…to neglect them is to fall victim to a narrowing amnesia that leaves us floundering.” -Timothy Jones
“My eyes shall be on the heroes of the land, the faithful!” –Ps101:6
“Who thru faith obtained promises…out of weakness were made strong…of whom the world was not worthy!!!” – Heb11:2, 33-38
My desire is the same as the journalist on “Enemy at The Gates:”….to give you “hope!…another way-a way of courage, a way of love…We must publish again the magnificent stories that exalt sacrifice and bravery-that make us believe in victory and give hope… Yes, we need to make examples-but, examples to follow. What we need are heroes!!!…..’Do you know any heroes around here?’…YES, comrad…I KNOW ONE!”
Friends let’s “look unto JESUS!” …and “be diligent as followers of them who through faith and patience inherited the promises of God.” -Heb.12:1-2, 6:11-12