Heroes for a New World

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“I see no heroes in high places in our country. The heroes I see today are walking next to me on the street, riding the train I take, working long hours: the single mothers with two jobs, the men who, because they must care for loved ones, keep quiet when their employers exploit them by not paying for overtime, the caregivers who push through exhaustion to tend to their elderly parents, veterans who come home, shattered by the horrors of war. These are our heroes.”—Helen Noakes

Waking Point

By Helen Noakes

The enduring hero in our midst.

The enduring hero in our midst.

Helen Noakes

SAN FRANCISCO California—(Weekly Hubris)—March 2017—It’s time to rewrite our stories, if we are serious about seeing change in our world. It’s time to redefine our heroes from beings—whether invested with superpowers or not—who settle all ills with violence, to beings who settle these ills through intelligent, non-violent means.

In The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell writes: “The hero of yesterday becomes the tyrant of tomorrow . . . .” The old methods of “Get them before they get you,” of “Bomb the hell out of them,” are certain not only to resolve nothing, but to set us on a ruinous path we’ve trod before—scorched and heaped with the bodies of the innocent and the guilty.

We simply have to look at what passes for entertainment today, from films and TV to electronic games, in which killing is designed to thrill and is defined as the only means of settling disputes. Efficient killers are glorified.

It’s mindless, dangerous crap. And it is ground out by companies bent only on profit, companies with no moral compass or integrity.

Sadly, the US, through its entertainment industry, has been a major producer of such trash. Our culture is steeped in violence. In America, we value our guns more than the lives of our children. Is it any wonder, then, that we currently have people in political power with deeply questionable backgrounds, who are bereft of empathy, ethics, or common sense?

Once upon a time, parents would point to a President and say to their child, “One day, you, too . . . .” The more likely scenario, at present, would be, “If that can be President, then . . . .”

I see no heroes in high places in our country. The heroes I see today are walking next to me on the street, riding the train I take, working long hours: the single mothers with two jobs, the men who, because they must care for loved ones, keep quiet when their employers exploit them by not paying for overtime, the caregivers who push through exhaustion to tend to their elderly parents, veterans who come home, shattered by the horrors of war. These are our heroes. These are the people we should write about and celebrate.

We should celebrate their courage and decency, their determination, against all odds, to persevere, to be strong, because they love. They love so powerfully, they’re willing to endure.

It’s time to write their stories.

About Helen Noakes

Helen Noakes is a playwright, novelist, writer, art historian, linguist, and Traditional Reiki Master, who was brought up in and derives richness from several of the world’s great traditions and philosophies. She believes that writing should engage and entertain, but also inform and inspire. She also believes that because the human race expresses itself in words, it is words, in the end, that will show us how very similar we are and how foolish it is to think otherwise.

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4 Responses to Heroes for a New World

  1. Will B says:

    Thanks, Helen. We must all keep saying this, over and over.

  2. Mary says:

    Thank you for this post.

  3. Elyce Melmon says:

    Yes! Thank you, Helen.

  4. Anita Sullivan says:

    Helen, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for saying this so well.

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