As children we believed anything was possible and this was reflected in those we chose to look up to or aspire to be when we were younger: Batman, Columbus, Mike Modano, Nolan Ryan, or Troy Aikman. Heroes who at the time seemed larger than life. But as people from my generation matured and privacy was eliminated through technological advances, for better and worse, our above it all heroes didn’t seem so superhuman anymore. Because of this, along with a few other factors, the term hero has lost much of its luster and impact, leading many to turn away from the stereotypical heroes of old and instead looking up, not quite so high, to those who they can more easily relate to, parents, teachers, or classmates, who we know are not perfect but strive to be their best everyday.
Jenny Lyn Bader wrote an essay about this very idea titled, “Larger Than Life”, where she describes how through the years societies definition of hero has changed and how those who we were once encouraged to look up to are now being crucified through the vast media outlets that guarantee to show the man behind the mask. This desire to tear down these legends of our past Bader says comes from what she likes to call “jealousy journalism” her idea that, “You know we’re not remotely heroic so let’s tear down anyone who is” (Bader 9). This idea has been ingrained in our society, that if something seems to good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true. Which has lead professors and Journalists to move “toward greater tolerance, openness, and realism” with the best of intentions, but in the process “eliminating our inspirations in the process” (Bader 10). We see this trend of total transparency still being pushed today, as our national and state governments, along with major corporations have come under fire for miss managing and abusing our trust, by taking advantage of our willingness to believe they are going to do...
Cited: Bader, Jenny Lyn. Next: “Larger Than Life”. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1994.
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