“Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?” – Maximus in Gladiator
Fans think twice about hero worship? I’ll believe it when I see it. Hero worship for our sportsmen and now women as well is thousands of years old. We love our spectacle, we love our circus shows. We want our neighboring mammals from the ocean to spend their lifetime in a bathtub leaving their context to amuse us for a price. We love to be entertained and our appetites seemingly have no limits. We shutter at an orca whale who turned on its trainer, but I myself have paid more than a few times to see it perform in the past and now it seems shameful. Tiger Woods was the can’t miss marketing icon, clean and perfect like the Gillette shaver he promoted, until he wasn’t. I am in no way pointing a finger at Tiger, the man is human and clearly had a lifestyle he now deeply regrets and the consequences are heavy. My issue is the pedastal to begin with. Perhaps Tiger believed his own hype, my beef is with the hype itself. None of this is new. The Roman gladiator shows with animals also mauling their trainers. They were mostly slaves, hoping to win their freedom, and if not, at least to taste some glory. They were idolized as Rock Stars, sex objects and archaeologists have even found children’s dolls/playtoys in the shape/form of their favorite gladiator. Babylon, Persia, Egypt and as far back as the Sumerians as we can tell, had some form of sport (usually violent) and hero worship. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sports, always have. I love competition and respect and have a sense of awe about the talent of others. But they are human beings and that’s all I’m looking for. What is it in us that wants to idolize? Are there deep insecurities? Is fantasy and escape more normative for us than reality? Why are we so thirsty for amusement? Why are we so bored with our own selves? It seems to me to be an issue of meaning. If we have no real meaning ourselves, if we are not living out our own grand story, then we are looking to latch onto someone else’s. If we can’t live our own dream, we try and ride the glamorous coat-tails of someone else who seemingly is living theirs. (although in the end we find it is often no dream for them either) We live in a culture full of hype, hyperbole and consumer driven marketing. You HAVE to see this, recognize it and get some appropriate distance from it or those seeking your $$ on TV will be the ones to dictate to you what your story is. What you should feel, what you should care about, how you should vote, what you should buy, how you should live . . . etc. Why do we let someone else, who does not have our interest in mind dictate our story? This is why I ceased watching the news years ago, tired of them dictating to me what to care about with hype and hyperpole for ratings. (that’s a rant for another day).Here’s the thing, you have all the power and resources within you to be a hero or heroine. Let me say that again, YOU do, not someone else. You can parent in such a way to leave a legacy of love and blessing. You can neighbor in such a way that spurs a culture of generosity. You can work in such a way that brings to life more than just your company’s mission statement. You can teach in such a way that inspires introspective learning for life. You can friend in such a way that you literally become someone else’s answered prayer. You can spouse in such a way that the experience of Oneness breeds a daily deep affirmation of who you truly are and who you belong to. You can have a life with meaning and purpose that everything you touch, say, do, feel, think, express and attempt is heroic. Not someone else, you. You just need to decided to do so, and decide that everyday. Then it will be your story that is told for years to come.
“What we do in life echoes in eternity. ” – Maximus in Gladiator
That could be your life. Don’t seek entertainment, seek personal meaning.peace,marshall