Where have all the heros gone?

Was listening to local sports radio yesterday at lunch, and they were talking about how “the three major sports leagues are in trouble”.

Baseball, with the specter of steroids, and Bonds close to breaking a long held record.

Basketball, with allegations of gambling and fixing in the referee ranks.

And Football with the scandal of Michael Vick and his barbaric behavior (borrowed that adjective from Jim Belshaw in yesterday’s ABQjournal)

Then I read my friend Natalie’s blog, Petroglyph Paradox, and was heartsick. Her young son looks up to Michael Vick, holds him up as a hero, and Natalie and her partner had to explain to their animal loving child what his hero did. Hard to see that light of hero worship fade out in a child’s eyes.

Not that I’ve ever agreed that sports figures should be the heros of our children…but it has been going on for years (Roger Maris?). It’s a trend that is hard to stop, and in many cases, there are athletes who are worthy of emulation (Michael Jordan? maybe…). Then again, many who seemed so on the surface but turn out otherwise (Kobe?)

Who do our kids have to look up to these days?

How about our President? Yeah, don’t get me started down that road. I don’t think a politician of any stripe is worthy of hero worship.

Hollywood Actors? Please…not even a consideration.

Clergy? Uh…no.

Teachers? Well I’ve read several recent stories of scary teachers (grade fixing, anyone?)….though there are many good teachers too. It’s just hard to tell.

What about parents? Well…there are many really good parents out there and I am happy to hold them up as my personal heros. But there are plenty of parents who do more harm than good…..like this charming lady or this gentleman.

So who is left? Who do our kids have to look up to, to emulate, to take values from and make them their own?

I don’t guess I’m comfortable with a society so debauched that even I, a full stripe optimist, forgiver of many, seer of good in almost anyone can’t find someone (alive) I want to be like when I grow up.

For now, I’ll keep my long held hero in place, my sadly deceased grandmother. Wonder what my feminist-before-her-time granny would think of the state of things today?

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  • Natalie

    Hey you,
    It is tough and so disheartening to watch oldest struggle with both of these issues: football hero vs abuser.
    He is now focused on Pokemon. (RME’s)
    The other sport in the news is the Tour de France.
    There’s no such thing as natural hair, wrinkles, athletic talent/skills, food, instincts… anymore. *sigh*
    My mom is my longtime hero. She came to visit me at work yesterday (while I was interviewing someone and arguing with the HVAC guy who thought he could get over on a blonde woman… ha! I pity the fool…) and I had the chance to introduce her to everyone.
    What a wonderful feeling it is to share my wonderful mom with all of my new coworkers and have them all say to me, “Your mom has it goin’ on!”
    BTW… I see that Vick has pleaded innocent. Sickening.
    Middle child told me that I was his “hero” after we talked about Vick and oldest had his meltdown.
    The bugger… made me all wimpy and teary-eyed.
    And then he asked if he could play with his Gameboy.
    Uh huh. Hero-shmero!
    Kids… Say the darndest things!

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