Are all the heroes gone?

Are all the heroes gone?

Over the years, more and more social media has led to the fall of many public figures, showing that they are just as corrupt and just as capable of making mistakes as the average citizen. This has left the world without many heroes, as leaders have had their names turned to mud in full view of the media’s cameras and microphones. But even in a world like this, where we are suspicious of everyone that rises to fame, there are heroes, but they are human as well. We realize now that to expect a person to be flawless just because he is an actor or a talented athlete is morally and ethically wrong.

People still look up to people like Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, and other famous celebrities despite the full truth and bad rumors that float around them for people to see, and that makes them all the more worthy to look up to than any other hero in history. In the epic of Beowulf the protagonist is seen as the perfect example of what a man should be back in that time, an unrealistic hero whose many unattainable exploits have rendered him near a demi-god rather than a human being to look up to and admire.

A hero has to be someone that we can relate to, and no one can relate to killing a demon monster with his bare hands or having an hour’s long fight at the bottom of a lake with a monster and live to tell the tale. But people can also relate to those who have made mistakes and missteps and still have worked hard enough to make it to where they are today.

There has never been a time without heroes, and there never will be. They are ingrained into our history and mindsets as much as anything else, we see the trails that they must face and the villains that they must battle, and we root and hope for their victory as much as any generation. But what some people might not recognize are the heroes that we cheer for, because they grew up with us. Look at the movies for example, Batman, Superman, and even Beowulf have all seen their images on the big screen in the last decade, but they are different from what they were originally, Batman is no longer a campy hero but rather a dark and gritty one. Superman now can bleed and be hurt like any one of us, and even the mythical Beowulf in his big screen movie, is a man that has faults, like succumbing to his temptations and being killed in his final battle. This is what heroes are, they are people that can die, like us, but they prevail anyway.

Like it or not, this is a new generation, a generation of pessimists. We have seen the fact that our country is not untouchable firsthand, and we have seen that just because you work as hard, it can’t all be taken away from you in an instant because of a recession. Our heroes have grown in this crucible as much as we have, made into tougher, and at the same time weaker, men than before.

Every medium from television to movies to video games have had their heroes, the guys who should save the day by the end but fail. We’ve seen also seen protagonists, fall from grace and become the villain, a staple of shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones. And this is not to just to be pessimistic for the sake of it, but to show that no one, not even Superman, can control their own lives. And in the end, no matter how hard we try and hard we train, we will never overcome everything. But we still tune in and cheer for these heroes, because though from time to time they fail, they always get up and try again until they succeed.

Heroes like those morally infallible superheroes and the men of the epics are no longer relevant, and that is the simple truth of it all. We have learned that there are no perfect men in the world and that we all have our flaws, so our heroes embody this fact. Not only that, but they embrace their weaknesses, they know that they have an Achilles’ heel and that it could be their downfall, but they accept it. These are the heroes of today, they are the ones that have grown and changed along with us through the years. In the most basic terms, our heroes have become more like us.