Hail to Our Everyday Local Heroes
A recent Reddit thread discusses the lack of heroes in modern society, but the truth is we have plenty of heroes.
It’s true that in the Internet era, historic figures we once considered heroic are being reevaluated as their past misdeeds and personal peccadilloes are revealed.
Celebrities we once admired suffer a fall from grace as their off-camera misbehavior is discovered and publicized.
Religious institutions have devalued their moral capital and fomented heartbreak as their years of scandals and cover ups are made public.
When I was growing up in the ‘60s the mantra of parents to their kids was “maybe you’ll grow up to be president one day.”
But that lofty aspiration began disappearing during the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, as Americans became more cynical about the motives and actions of politicians.
Today, according to the Pew Resource Center, public trust in government is ridiculously low.
A 2021 Pew study finds that only “about one-quarter of Americans say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right ‘just about always’ (2 percent) or ‘most of the time’ (22 percent).”
Compare that to 1958, when 75 percent of Americans trusted the federal government to do the right thing almost always or most of the time.
Placing anyone too high up on a hero’s pedestal is a dangerous game. No human — and no institution — is without flaws.