Archive for the ‘Hero’ Category

Heroes?

Scattered across the pages of our History, all through time heroes have been made. The word hero itself originates from the Greek ‘Heros’ meaning ‘warrior’ and ‘protector’.

Greek mythology is a good place to start.  Take Achilles, as famous a hero as any other. Even to date, he’s known as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters the world has ever known, even with a dodgy heel.

The French haven’t always run, they have their patron saint in Joan of Arc. A Christian teenage girl who impossibly united a nation against the tyrannical English, impassioned by the visions she dreamt narrated by her God. And, understandably, she was mercifully led to end her life by being burned alive at only nineteen.

The Scottish hold reverence to the great William Wallace. Leader of the uprising against the notorious Edward ‘Longshanks’ – King of England in the latter part of the 13th century to the beginnings of the 14th – uniting his kinsman into battle against impossible odds, and coming out victorious. Until the inevitable ending, of Wallace etching his place into the book of time by being captured and publicly executed in a truly horrific manner.

How about the English themselves? Who better than Sir Francis Drake – a true English hero. Among his accomplishments, he became the first to circumnavigate the globe and delighted Queen Elizabeth in the return of exotic items and spices not seen before, as well as gold plundered from the Spanish. Of course, that’s where his fame derives from. To the Spanish he was known as El Draque, ‘Francis the Dragon’. After provoking the Spanish into war, he then famously defended our shores from the great Spanish Armada. With a little help from our always unforgiving English weather.

This is just to touch the sides. There are countless ‘heroes’ from many nations across the world.

But just think: what is it that makes these people heroes? Sure, they make a great bedtime story to put the kids to sleep and make for a fascinating History lesson, but has society really evolved if it is glorifying a person based on personal success at warcraft, killing and murder? You only have to take a look at the daily news sheets to find a new hero every week from Afghanistan and Iraq. But are they really heroes?

Where’s the justification in glorifying someone for snuffing out the existence of another. People are very quick to judge the plight of suicide bombers, as they themselves are praised by their brethren for achieving the highest honour in the eradication of infidels and non-believers, but in essence,  isn’t the British media essentially doing the same thing? Politics in the guise of Patriotism. Scores of teenagers are leaving school, brainwashed into believing that it’s their duty to kill in order to be praised. I don’t know what’s worse: ‘achieving’ a medal for war exploits, or becoming a true national hero praised by the national media, shrouded in the British flag. Sadly, over a coffin.

I for one, do not want to stand up and be counted.

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