It’s been said there are no longer heroes. This presupposes all heroism to be resident in times past; days of yesteryear. Fond recollection, now absent.
Growing up, my heroes were individuals who set goals, aspired to them and surpassed them. Harry Houdini, Thomas Jefferson, and Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali). All these men lived up to their egos and surpassed their goals. And stood for something.
I remember a story about Alexander Hamilton visiting Jefferson at Monticello, and noting the three portraits in the foyer: Sir Issac Newton, John Locke and Francis Bacon. Hamilton asked Jefferson who the portraits were. He proudly identified them as the three greatest men who ever lived. Hamilton responded, “I thought Julius Caesar was the greatest man who ever lived!” We all have our heroes.
Today, heroism seems to be populated with military folk – many of whom ARE heroes, and sports or Hollywood figures. And that’s fine, such as it is.
But, see what The Art of Manliness came up with:
Manvotional: There Is Always a Time for Heroism
by BRETT & KATE MCKAY
“There Is Always a Time for Heroism”
By GR Jordan
From The Emerging Revival, 1946
Once Wendell Phillips and a young friend were sitting by the fire. It was a memorable evening. Recollections had flushed the cheeks of the veteran campaigner. Memories of former heroic days had loosened his tongue. He had completely lost himself in the thrilling recital of the past. The young visitor sat enthralled. At last, when he recognized that the evening was far gone, he rose with a start. “Mr. Phillips,” he exclaimed, as he grasped the older man’s hand, “if I had lived in your time, I think I would have been heroic too!” The veteran, who had accompanied his young visitor to the door, was noticeably aroused. As he pointed down the street, he drew the attention of his companion to flaunting indications of audacious vice. His voice was tremulous with indignation as he exclaimed: “Young man, you are living in my time, and in God’s time! Be sure of this: No man could have been heroic then who is not heroic now.”
Be heroic now.