Policemen Firemen Teachers are Real Heroes

Many folks seem to need heroes. The problem with making folks heroes, without them earning the title, is they are human beings and are subject to human weaknesses and imperfections and sooner or later will fall short of imputed ideals.

This need for heroes is often passed down from parents to children, which can be potentially harmful to them. Children need to learn to discover their own inner strengths rather than searching externally for them. Once they start down this road in search for an ideal, it’s difficult to turn around.

There are parents who will argue that sports figures are letting their children down when these overpaid personalities make boneheaded decisions or do idiotic things. There is nothing wrong with admiring these figures, but children should never look to them as role models as many come from less than desirable circumstances, and aside from having their own set of issues, do not always know the rules of proper decorum.

It is the responsibility of parents to set limits about whom their children will emulate or whom they will look to as role models or heroes. Heroes are folks who do extraordinary things under extraordinary circumstances. Take the firefighter who goes into a burning building to save a family when the structure is about to cave in. He or she goes in anyway because they believe it is the right thing to do.

Or, take the case of the pilot who recently landed his plane in the Hudson river in New York and even amidst the chaos, he walked through a sinking plane to ensure all his passengers had made it to safely. These are heroes; they are folks who have done something extraordinary and ambition in magnitude and in scope.

Some athletes and celebrities may have laudable characteristics that are worthy of emulation, but they are definitely not heroes unless they do or have done something that’s extraordinary in scale. When parents allow their children to look up to these folks as role models they are ascribing to them attributes they have not earned. Heroes earn their title.

Even before they come to public awareness for accomplishing some impressive exploit, these ordinary folks go about their days living their lives the best they know how until destiny calls them to action. Many everyday heroes are soldiers who answer the call to duty when they may be terrified of dying, but they go to battle any way because they believe it is the right thing to do.

There are many examples of heroes living in our midst who are risking life and limb for all of us in positions of public service. They deserve praise, which is not often forthcoming. Parents should steer their children toward these unsung heroes if they believe their children need role models. If they glorify athletes and celebrities, chances are they will pass on to their children these types of values.

The next time any parent is tempted to put an athlete on a pedestal, think about the firemen or the honest policemen; who would they want to have their back if disaster strikes?