The term ‘hero’ today means something vastly different from what it meant back in the era of the Ancient Greeks (think Hercules) or – if you don’t fancy stretching your mind back that far – even not so long ago, in the era of my parents or grandparents. My grandmother’s hero was her mother; my grandfather’s his father; my aunty’s her father. In fact, even my hero growing up (and I think it’s safe to say my sister’s also) was my aunty. All a far cry from today’s Shane Warnes, Lady Gagas and Justin Biebers don’t you think?
image by Ben Northern
The values that ‘hero’ encompassed prior to the Facebook-Twitter-Myspace revolution were far more primitive and real than those that it encompasses today. Mobile phones were scarce or even non existent, and the internet was still a far off thought way, way, way in the back of someone’s mind (I know, can you imagine?). And so, all my grandmother’s and mother’s generations had to model themselves on and look up to, were the other people who they knew and saw frequently; the people who they were surrounded with. Their heroes were people of a similar calibre (and life form!) to them. Continue reading