The Quintessential Hero

"Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the Gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?

Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need

I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero
'Til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight!..."

Ah, Bonnie Tyler's, I Need a Hero. Great song. Who doesn't want a Hercules? Or a White Knight?  Or...what for it...a god? I know I do! I've always been a dreamer. Since i was little, I have always wanted a man to sweep me off my feet, but of course, not just ANY man, someone tall, dark, and handsome. I want to get weak at the knees and fall flat on my face, only to be picked up and put on a pedestal.

Yeah, that ain't happening. Not only am I too independent now, but no man could compare to the 'gods' I have conjured. Don't judge. A strong, young woman can fantasize. I paint my men. Luckily, they just happen to be characters from my book, so I don't appear terribly strange. 

However, that is not why I am here tonight. What is it about heroes that makes us melt? 

Is it their brawn? Yup. Is it their size? Yup. Is it their superb physical appearance? Yup. Is it their amazingly sexual appeal? Yup. I could go on and on...but that gets rather droll.  

Instead, I say, "Brilliant! We've hit a topic worthy of discussion." 

In a perfect world, their would be the ideal man for the ideal woman. We wouldn't see ourselves "settling" for anything less than perfect. However, it isn't a perfect world. Unfortunately, we have to "dream up" or view our ideal hero in a book, or a movie. *sigh* Oh visualization, how I do loveth thee. Movies are an excellent source of visualizing the perfect hero. They are shaped perfectly, they kiss perfectly, they smile perfectly, they fight perfectly, and they say all the right things...most of the time.  

Then, we have to clap ourselves out of the hypnotic state of lust and realize that our droll has begun to puddle around everyone's feet. Shame, and we were just getting to the best part! But what about the persons playing those "heroes"? The countless hours of weightlifting and cardio, coupled with a few amazing camera angles...WOOT! We have a sexy beast of a man!

Can you imagine it? Well, you may not admit it, but I will. 

Superman. Enough said. 

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Ha! No, really, can you imagine a more perfectly cut man? Henry Cavill as Superman is enough to make any woman, well, let's just say "drool". But what makes him such a desirable figure? He's SUPERMAN! Can we make it anymore clearer? Not only is he tall, dark, and handsome; but he's amazingly cut, blue-eyed...and let's face it...he can FLY. Can you get a more perfect analogy to "sweeping me off my feet?" Ummm...no. He is the ideal hero, and let's face it, he is pretty much a god-like figure compared to us, humans

Speaking of gods, though. Don't you imagine Thor would be a great ornament to carry around? Or even Loki? You may be thinking...really Brittany? ...Loki? Oh! come on! It's not like the god is without his charismatic pull of lust-worthiness. Let's examine:  

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Ok, well, we could do without the freaky, horned helmet; but you should google "Thor and Loki", apparently the crowd is going wild on the idea of homosexual gods. Anyway, who can resist the stare of the lovelies - Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston? You can't. There may be a preference, especially when you see Hemsworth without his shirt, but how can you not swoon over the 6'4, Australian hunk? They are portrayed as highly "sexualized" gods (that's my word and I'm sticking to it)! Adopted brothers in legend, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki with his fire and magic, both assume the role of "hero" at some point in their twisted mythology. I'm sure the Norse women really received great pleasure when fantasizing about their lusciously infallible gods.

And who can resist the ever-asinine antics of Iron Man? The "normal human" turned robotic wonder...well, part of the time. Put aside the fact he is a Billionaire...OH WAIT! That's right...let's view Batman, too. Both are very rich individuals with enough money to build technological wonders capable of making them our hedonistic heroes! We still love them, right? And, of course, we make them out to be these physically attractive men, because, let's face it, who's going to watch the unattractive men waltz across the movie screen?  Observe.

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Hello! Robert Downey, Jr.! And good evening Christian Bale! My, how incredibly heroic both of you look in your stealthy armour. While there is nothing supposedly "super-human" about these two characters, they defy the odds by defeating "baddies" and saving the day! Not without their share of scratches though. However, somehow, they manage to recover fairly quickly for another episode of ass-kicking. Even their gadgets never seem to go out of style, the older they get, the more useful they become. ...Kind of like James Bond. *sigh*

I see a trend. All these characters so far, are comic book figures as well. Our image of the "hero" is based tightly on the idea of super-human qualities and hot bodies! I could go into a whole list of heroes: Captain America? Spiderman? Wolverine? and so on. 

Again, what is the point Brittany? Well, we live in a world where crime is committed every day. Whether it be worlds away, or in your hometown. And we escape into the unrealistic world of heroes that help keep our minds occupied on issues other then the ones going on around us. I am guilty of that mindset...I think the only ones that aren't are the men and women who play them on the tube! And women, we're guilty of putting our expectations of the male species on the same level as the heroes we see portrayed in books, tv shows, and movies.

However, then I realize, when I hold my son in my arms and tell him that mommy will never let anything hurt him, I see myself as his hero in his eyes. He clutches on tightly, trusting that my arms will not give way to pain or punishment. There are those people out there that do not have that comfort. There are children out there that live in pain and suffering, only to die in it's wake.  

Who needs to be the quintessential hero? Not Superman, not Thor, not Batman, not Ironman; but you do. I'm certainly not saying there is anything wrong with fantasizing every now and then about being swept off your feet by a god or a super-human. I think it's a nice escape every now and then. But we live in a world that is obsessed with fame and fortune. We don't care about anyone else but ourselves, and what we want out of this life. However, if we really look closely, there just might be a realization that, while your living in an egocentric paradise, others are reaching out to comfort those who are dying from disease, hunger, war, famine, hate, and personal distress. There is an obsession to be noticed by those celebrities and entertainers who don't give two cents who you are, and suck your independence and lives dry of any meaning or worth. Unfortunately, throwing away the potential to make a difference in one's life, when a life may be taken away and not lived because we turn our faces away from problems that are not our own.

One of my favorite musical lyrics in by the Dave Matthews Band, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." 

Is it not true? The more we persecute someone for doing us wrong, when there has been no effort on your part to make it right, the lower we descend into our own pride and grief. 

Are heroes perfect? No. Not even the ideal ones. Even the Avengers are all killed off at one point by Thanos. That's right, I do pay attention.  And guess what? Batman grows old.

Not everyone has the financial means to make a difference or be a hero to someone. However, that doesn't mean that leading by example, giving your time, or helping a friend in need is not classifying you as a hero. As a parent, you may be quintessential hero to your son or daughter, even behind Superman, Batman, or Captain America. 

But here's a big piece of advice. Don't expect gratitude in return for your heroic deeds. The most gratifying feeling is knowing that you made a difference, feeling it in your gut, whether or not someone acknowledges it, or not. Trust me, it will make a positive difference in your attitude about your own life and the way you see yourself living. I don't judge your religion, spirituality, or absence of, I think that living purposefully creates a world of caring, heroic people. Those presenting peace and love as their ally, and opposing selfishness, greed, and hatred. Unfortunately, religion and spirituality has been one of the leading causes of hatred, and that is not what it's ultimate purpose was meant for in the evolution of the human race. But that is a topic for another day.  

All is well tonight. Go to bed knowing that you can be more of a hero than Superman could ever strive. 

Void your mind of hatred and indifference, and let the vastness of an ever-changing universe enlighten your mind to empathy and peace. Thus creating a world of heroes capable of moving the treacherous mountains of misfortune, and the tumultuous seas of hopelessness.

Buonanotte