When I was in grade one, my bed time was strictly regulated. I was to be in bed, lights out, at 8:00pm. There was only one exception. Because my mother knew that it was my favourite program, she would get me up at 10:00pm on Monday's so I could watch the Avengers and Mrs. Peel. I am not sure why I liked the program so much. Certainly I could not understand the complex world of MI5 or MI6. Spies were a far off reality from my life in Saskatchewan. But there was something about the program that appealed to me. The characters dealt with serious issues but there was always some fun in their banter back and forth. Both of the main characters, Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel, seemed to be of equal importance to the story. Men and women could do the same job equally as well. Also I could always tell they were dealing with something serious but in the end the story would end well. Like a bedtime story, there was a happily ever after. Today Diana Rigg, the actress who played Emma Peel, died at the age of 82.
I like to think of myself as someone who does not have a lot of heroes. Oh there are people I admire. I admire all of the work that Martin Luther King Jr. did when fighting for civil rights in the 1950's and 1960's. I admire the charitable work that former President Jimmy Carter continues to do at the age of 96 or that Princess Diana did for victims of landmines or those suffering with HIV during her lifetime. As a child, I not only admired Mrs. Peel, but Batman was very popular on television and reruns of Superman were on tv. But I don't think I would call any of these people my heroes. For I know that none of the real people that I have listed above are perfect. They make or have made mistakes and they have had a few missteps a long the way just like everybody else. And even from a young age, I was able to separate television shows from reality. I knew they were just plays presented and that the characters in them were actresses and actors. For me I admire qualities in people, but I know it is wrong to live my life a certain way because someone I idolize lives that way. I like the clothes I wear because they are comfortable, not because an athlete or movie star wears them.
Some people though have heroes. They place such people on high pedestals. It is hard to imagine them doing any wrong. When a hero does do something wrong though, people feel especially hurt. Take Ben Johnson who was the fastest man in the world at the Seoul Olympics. People wanted to be like him. It was a moment of great pride for Canada.Then it was revealed that he was taking steroids. Suddenly he went from hero to pariah. Many Canadians felt quite crushed when his gold medal was taken away.
I think it is wrong whenever we idolize someone. No one is perfect. No one can remain on top all of the time. No one is flawless. Batman, Superman, Mr. Steed and Mrs. Peel are perfect characters but they are not real people. When we place people on pedestals they can easily fall from their perch when the true reality of their full character is revealed. Instead I think we should admire the good qualities in people and not necessarily the people themselves. We need to realize that everyone is complex with many different sides of their personality both good and bad. However qualities such as love, devotion, respect, honesty endure forever. Blessings.