I don’t do heroes… or do I?
Today we are blessed with a post from our friend Christine the author of Raised Queer. We don’t remember if she found us or we found her but we are very happy to know each other now. Her blog is no-nonsense and whether she is just sharing her own everyday crazies (where she mentions us. We swear she never received a dime or sexual favor for this)or ranting about judgmental people, she is honest, irreverent and funny. Check out her words on heroes. Then go read her blog (especially the two posts we just mentioned). Thanks you Christine!
Christine says: I’ll admit that I was really excited when Lee first contacted me about writing a guest post for coupledumb.com. I had never guest-posted before and was chomping at the bit. Then she told me the topic this week was “Heroes” and I was honestly like, well…..What the hell? Heroes, really? I didn’t want to tell her that we don’t do heroes in our family and to pretty-please give me another topic. I changed my mind because I was reminded of spoiled actor-types that demand only green M&M’s and Evian in their dressing rooms and how I abhor that type of behavior. So I decided to just be thankful for the opportunity and embrace the challenge, come what may.
This acceptance proved to be difficult, though, because my mind was blank on the subject. After much unproductive thought, I decided to ask my family what their opinions were; because even though I don’t do them, maybe they did and could give me some insight. Well, Ha and Ha. My oldest son when asked, said: “Hmm…I don’t really believe in the idea of heroes.” And my daughter simply stated: “They’re stupid”. I said: “What do you mean, they’re stupid?” “Mom, I don’t believe in heroes. Stupid like Santa and the tooth fairy.” Ah, she’s thinking the make-believe-super-type of hero, the kind that can fly/hop around the world in 8 hours, visiting every house and dodge bullets while saving the day. I have to agree, those are stupid. And at this point, defeated, I didn’t even bother to ask my husband because I was afraid he’d say the same thing. Or worse yet, he’d say: Magic Johnson. I won’t argue his skills on the court, because yes, he is a most excellent baller. But Magic fell from grace, in my opinion, when his condom slipped off somewhere between his wife and 999th mistress.
I think it’s popular belief that heroes save lives and that most of them embody great physical strength. Undoubtedly, people step up in extraordinary ways every single day. Firefighters, police officers, pilots, volunteers, etc. They have the potential to save lives at any given moment. Many of them do and they are often considered heroes. I wonder, though, is it really necessary to risk your life to be considered a hero? And do we need a head count on the lives that have been saved before the honor is bestowed? I don’t believe so.
If it is possible to be considered a hero whether or not you’ve risked your life or can count the lives you’ve saved, then I know who some of mine would be. To me, Dave Pelzer fits the bill, for things undone; actions not taken. He represents all of the nameless and faceless adults with similar case histories of unfathomable abuse suffered as children. Those adults who have made the decision somewhere along the line to break the cycle. We can only imagine the lives saved because they have chosen, somehow, to not perpetuate the violence.
At first glance, these people may seem unremarkable. They’re next door neighbors, co-workers and members of the congregation. There hasn’t been an article in the newspaper or a segment on the news that covered their acts of courage and bravery, nor have they been given a key to the city. They just go to work, pay their taxes, play golf, attend PTA meetings and come home and eat dinner with their families. Ordinary, I know.
I suppose it could be argued that just because one behaves in a manner that is socially responsible and acceptable, that that alone doesn’t make them “hero” material. But I believe these people are the exception. Especially since I see and read the stories in the news every day about criminals that have molested, raped and/or murdered a child with an “I was abused as a child” defense. The choice to not intentionally harm another- whether it’s mentally or physically, in spite of all the wrong that has been committed against oneself, is exemplary behavior. That’s how I feel about the subject.
You know, I’m really thankful now that I was presented with this topic; it made me re-think my whole stance on heroes and my blanket disbelief in them. Holy shit! I do have heroes. And to think: just yesterday I was ‘heroless’ and today I am self-serving because I’ve redefined the word just so I could have some. Go me.