I don’t have heroes anymore.
That sounds like a depressing statement, doesn’t it? Yet it’s not. At least, not to me.
I don’t have heroes anymore because I’ve learned the person we put on a pedestal never lives up to the ideals we place upon them. Instead, we create our own version of that person in our mind; a version that is often completely different than who they actually are.
Is that so wrong? Well… no, not necessarily. I think it’s human nature to create narratives for our life. Heroes often serve as a protagonist in our story – someone who inspires us or saves us, directly or indirectly, by being a beacon of hope when we need it, a voice when we can’t find our own, or an example of what we aspire to be like.
But somewhere through my life’s experiences, my views shifted. Maybe it was because I met enough of the heroes of my youth to realize the rose-tinted glasses for what they were. But I’ve come to the conclusion that the things we admire and idealize about our “heroes” are really just the reflections of things we hope to be or see in ourselves.
Heroes are a mirror of our own hopes and desires. We react to what we see reflected in their actions, their art, or their words. But that reflection isn’t necessarily of them… but rather ourselves.
So if that’s the case… who is the real hero? Is it the person we project our ideals upon, or the voice inside ourselves that evokes a reaction to the things we see reflected in others?
If you ask me, it’s us.
We are our heroes.
The people we give that name are just the personification of what lies deep inside of us.