We all have heroes. Some heroes earn that esteemed title from the quiet acts of service performed daily, others stumble into hero-ship by merits of their profession.
Webster defines a hero as:
A person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities; a person who is greatly admired.
I am going to try really hard to put into words my garbled feelings about hero-worship, and how the protective walls I held around one of my heroes came crushing around his memory today.
To understand how much I adored this person, let me give you some history. I was only three years and nine months old on August 16, 1977. I am pretty sure even then, I loved the gorgeous and talented man who died that day with all the love my little girl heart could muster. My Mother had plans on going to his next concert in our area. Yes, we
wereare a family of screaming-crying Elvis fans.
As I grew, TBS always honored Elvis in January for his birthday week, playing his movies each day, and again in August, to celebrate his memory. I would watch them ritualistically and make sure I had my VHS set to record. Often with the other children went out to play, if Elvis was on, I was glued to the TV. We even had an 8 track player in the bathroom, anytime I went in there, I would put in Aloha from Hawaii. I loved Elvis.
He did not just sing his country and rock and roll, the man could sing gospel music like he was singing with heaven’s choir. WOW. So touching. Just beautiful.
You know the first chapter book I check out from the public library to read? Elvis and Me, by Priscilla.
As I grew up, I often joked, it is probably a good thing that I was only a child when he passed, because if I had been an adult when he was alive, I am pretty sure I would have been a groupie and be one of the many women saying I had his love child. Of course I was joking, but dang, that man had it going on. Want to know a secret, my husband has lips that look like Elvis’. Shhhh…yes, that scored him points!
So anyway, hero-worship. I did not worship Elvis, but he was on a pretty high pedestal. Even knowing that he used drugs and that chances are his heart attack was caused by the drugs, I still held him up there. His looks and his voice, and the things I had heard the had done for charity. No one was going to knock him off his pedestal, well, no one but…Elvis.
I watched footage of a concert today that knocked the King right off, and broke my heart. He was obviously drunk or high during this concert, and the language he used was completely inappropriate. He was talking out of his mind, and then he said something thing after using a string of explicatives about cutting someone’s tongue out more explicatives. Sadly, he proved the point of the anonymous person he was threatening.
It made me very sad. Sad that he was so out of control, and I knew how his earthly story would end. Sad that after all of these years, I do not look at him the same way. Childhood innocence gone.
But maybe there is a lesson to be learned. Am I someone’s hero? Though it would be a heavy weight to carry, I know people are always watching.
After writing that, I paused and reminded myself. You never know who is watching your example as their guide. I began asking myself questions…
Are you showing your mistakes, but correcting them? Are you performing acts of service? Do you exhibit courage and moral integrity when faced with adversity? Are you loyal and devoted to the causes you pledge yourself to? Do you persevere when every fiber of your being wants to throw the towel in? Do you use your talents and skills to better the world around you?
We can all be heroes. I think we need to start with being our own hero, developing the qualities that make a true hero, not the status quo we are used to in choosing entertainment, politicians, and athletes such as Elvis, Justin Beiber, Obama, and other so-called “heroes”. They eventually make huge mistakes broadcast publicly, often lie about it, disappoint us again and again,shake foundation, causing us to question ourselves and our place in the world.
Be your own hero. You can do it!
Thanks for reading! ~Hope