Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A Hero

"I'm a hero with coward's legs." (Spike Milligan)



I was thinking today about role models. I don't really have a 'hero' or someone I aspire to be like. I have people I find highly inspiration and who have shaped my outlook but I don't see the point of having a hero. Chances are, humans being flawed, they may do something to let you down. People are human and I don't mean this in a nasty way - I like that people have positives and negatives. It's unnatural to think someone's perfect and put them on a pedestal.


Few of the stereotypical role models do much for me. This may sound a little shallow but although I can see how some people have done great things - the Mother Teresa type of role model - I just don't feel a personal connection to that. Then when people suggest certain pop culture type role models, I just laugh. There's no need to be an individual for the sake of it so be inspired by mainstream stuff if you like but don't follow it just because it's mainstream.


Heroes make me think of Superman, Batman and that. Unless you're planning on becoming a vigilante, I don't see why you would look up to them. I do see why people would have role models but personally I just don't think like that. Everyone I have met has shaped me in some way. Some more than others. My mother, for example, is pushy enough that I was made to do my best but she would let my own preferences flourish, despite her hoping I would like what she liked. I owe her a lot and respect parts of her - she was the first female area manager of the company she worked for and she took breast cancer on the chin. She also gets easily pissed off about the silliest things and threatens to not let me out of the house if I don't tidy my room.


Generally, authors are the closest thing I can find to a role model of mine. Obviously, I want to write and some authors inspire me to do so. Terry Pratchett's writing and attitude to life is a virtual faith in itself and makes me think a lot about life, the universe and everything. Tamora Pierce is an author who shaped my childhood quite considerably. She probably deserves a post all to herself. I was rereading a series of hers recently and remembering how much of my young life I spent in my garden re-enacting scenes from her books with my sister wielding sticks as swords. Her female leads are the epitome of strong female characters. Some female characters can become silly, unbelievable or annoying when the author tries to make them kick ass. Just being 'feisty' or mouthy is simply a pain. Also a woman's natural limitations of stature and strength should be remembered unless they become unbelievable. And please don't make them beautiful and strong and smart and kind... They have to have a flaw or it's ridiculous. Pierce gave her characters enough fears and weaknesses to overcome that they were relatable. There was a theme in her writing that anyone could be a hero and although that may sound clichéd I dare any girl to read those books and not want to go out and do something epic with their lives. 


I don't think it's bad to have role models. It's never good to be too set in your ways so let people shape you and all that. It's great to feel inspired by someone. I do believe in individuality though and think, warts and all, you should be who you are and not rely too much on how other people are.

1 comment:

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