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?