Monday, February 15, 2010

Heroes and Role Models

Heroes, superstars and role models. The Olympic opening ceremonies had them all. I sat glued to the TV as the evening unfolded, and Canada paraded its finest and most famous.

One of the most poignant moments for me was watching the Olympic flag being regally ushered across the stadium by 8 Canadian legends - among them, a noble humanitarian - Romeo Dallaire, one of my personal heroes. He took a moral stand in Rwanda when the world turned their back on the genocide in which  800,000 souls perished.

It got me thinking about heroes and who we value in our society. We pay professional athletes millions for their talents, yet our artistic community can barely earn a living wage, and if lucky, they are left to the mercy of meagre government funding. Our pop culture icons are easily recognized ... however when Romeo Dallaire carried the flag, he was an unknown entity to many  - a man who steadfastly refused to withdraw his miniscule UN contingent from Rwanda, choosing instead to stay and bear witness to the crimes against humanity.

Why are we so mesmerized by celebrity? Why do we value entertainers over those who protect, heal, teach,  explore and provide care?

Who are your heroes? Who inspires you? Questions I am going to answer for myself ... who do I look up to?

5 comments:

  1. A wonderful thoughtful post lyn. I guess because i live near celebrity and famous they don't impress me and i don't look up to them over anyone else. I've not seen the olympics this year, but it's so nice to get updates here and there. i'm glad your enjoying!

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  2. I'm with you on Mr. Dallaire, he has my full respect. And I do believe he has suffered plenty for his convictions.

    It is good to reflect on the people and places that inspire us. I driven across this great country several times. It inspires me and I hold in my mind's eye lasting impressions because of it.

    I do believe your post here could be the catalyst to an entire series on heroes and celebrity!

    Take care, keep writing.
    Angela

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  3. Currentlly I am heroless. But I greatly admire people who are who they say they are. Period. That is a favored quality.

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  4. Lyn..Your post was very much like what I would say about our heroes but I would have wished Terry to be present. His Mom was so proud and in a way we all were who knew and admired him. A great post. Polar Bear

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  5. "Why are we so mesmerized by celebrity? Why do we value entertainers over those who protect, heal, teach, explore and provide care?"

    I think the fascination with celebrity over protectors may have something to do with the "dazzle" factor.

    Celebrities distract us from the horrors of the world we live in. They put on their masks and give us a show to take us away from the pain and suffering.

    Heroes do the opposite. They challenge us to make a difference.

    Sadly, most people don't want that responsibility. :/

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