The True Heroes Are Firefighters Essay

1589 words - 6 pages

The True Heroes are Firefighters
In today's superficial society, there are many stereotypes and groups into which people are categorized. There are also many people that are celebrities, who many ordinary citizens see as leaders in life. Many high-end sports figures such as Michael Jordan or Ray Lewis are seen as heroes and idols to many youths in America and around the globe. However, what they do is not really heroic; rather it is merely grown men playing a game. After the tragic events or September 11th, another type of hero, a true hero, has come to be heralded in America. The courageous men in this group are called firefighters, and protect citizens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They sacrifice their lives for anyone, no matter what danger to their own being. They have not been appreciated the way they deserve to be for one reason, a term called hero worship in society.
Hero worship is a theory first brought to light in the publication in 1841 of Heroes, lectures that were given by Thomas Carlyle, a Renaissance man of sorts, who lived in nineteenth century England. Carlyle did many things, from math tutor, to schoolmaster, to a law student; he did many things to pass his time. His theories on heroes and hero worship, are the basis of long studies conducted by himself on how society views certain people as heroes. Many of the people who he studied are still well known today, such as William Shakespeare and Jacques Rousseau. When describing Shakespeare, Carlyle stated " Who is there, that in logical words, can express the effect that music has on us? A kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of Infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into that!"(Carlyle, 83) Just talking of a poet, it shows the influence that heroes have on everyday people. They allow us to dream and to wish that one-day, we could be in such a position. In many cases, people will follow such a popular person just to try and be somewhat like that amazing individual.
Many of the same principles that applied in nineteenth century society, prescribe to today's as well. In over 100 years, society still sees popular individuals as heroes and idols. Those who follow their lead now have a term to classify them by, which is hero worshipers. Carlyle better explains this as he said, "Worship of a Hero is transcendent admiration of a great man."(Carlyle,11) It is the natural meaning of man to do such a thing, to look up to someone higher than themselves. These are the basic principles to leadership in the modern world. It can be applied from the beginnings of time to the present, or "It is to this hour, and at all hours, the vivifying influence in a man's life."(Carlyle,11)
Hero worship can be seen at many different levels in society, from just everyday ads in newspapers to faces carved into mountains. Mount Rushmore is feasibly the epitome of hero-worship. It...

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