When the house fell asleep there was always a light
and it fell from the page to the eyes of an American boy
in a storybook land I could dream what I read
when it went to my head I’d see
I want to be a hero
it’s a nice-boy notion that the real world’s gonna destroy
it’s a Marvel comicbook Saturday matinee fairytale, boy
Growing older you’ll find that illusions are brought
and the idol you thought you’d be was just another zero
I want to be a hero
Heroes died when the squealers bought ’em off
died when the dealers got ’em off
welcome to the “in it for the money as an idol” show
when they ain’t as big as life
when they ditch their second wife
where’s the boy to go?
gotta be a hero
Steve Taylor – Hero (Link)
As a child, I grew up reading comic books about heroes, or watching cartoons. Superman, Flash Gordon, Tintin (or Snowy), and Underdog were a few classics. There was something magical about the bravado each of them carried as they always showed up to save the day – or rescue their love from harm.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to believe that heroes existed, and have aspired to be one.
When I was growing up, I thought my Dad was a hero. I mean, a real hero. He seemed like he could do anything, knew the answers, and had superhuman strength. I watch him lift heavy weights with ease, wield power tools, and throw his children high in the air before they fell into the pool.
Dad may not have been a hero, in the way that we think of marvel comics. However, he didn’t need to don a leotard in order for me, his son, to view him as the man who would save the day.
I’m thankful to have many fond memories where Dad lived up to this hero image. However, I’m also not blind to the moments where my Superman fell victim to his kryptonite(s).
Those moments are when the young man begins to lose hope, and faith. Not just in his version of what he thought a hero was supposed to be, but in the world.
The young man grows up, thinking he can find heroes in the White House, only to discover the world is far more corrupt than he thought, when he sees a man in office who once claimed he can “grab women by their p****” because he’s a ‘star’.
Heroes….where did they go?
Where are the men and women that would stand up for justice, truth, and being the voice and strength of those who have none?
The answer is – they’re all around us.
I see heroes in people like Korku Milion; my friend in Ghana, Africa. He’s a man that has worked every fiber of his body to provide for his daughter, no matter what it takes. He fights his battle in the gym, leading a legion of bodybuilders that will someday take center stage in the sport and bring honor, resources, and hope to their nation.
I see a hero in my friend, Travis Tucker, a Columbus Police Officer. In a world where police officers are being scorned, Travis stands tall about every other officer I’ve ever met. He will be the first man to put his gun aside in the streets and square off with somebody who has an issue with him. Guns down, fists up. He’s a man who every single day does the right thing on the streets, and has taken the time to integrate himself into the community he protects.
I see a hero in my mentor, Nate Pingel, who has tirelessly fought against the biggest giants in the industry – without quitting, complaining, or conceding. I watch as he invests thousands of hours into developing solutions for our planet, and people. He is the only person I’ve ever known who truly has the solutions for making the world a better place, and 100% sustainable.
I saw a hero in Sister J, my beloved friend. Despite her circumstances of being homeless and poor, she loved the world with a heart that was so pure, and perfect. She truly was an angel.. She was my angel; showing up as a homeless woman to remind a broken man he was worth it.
The list could go on, because our world is full of undercover heroes that never wear a cape, take to the skies, or receive the key to the city.
I watched as my own hero fell to the one battle he couldn’t win; cancer. Tomorrow would have been his 63rd birthday. As a boy, I looked up to my Father as a hero. As a man, I now remember him as one.
I don’t think many people will ever understand the loss, or pain that one experiences when they bury their parents. No day is ever the same, because the sun doesn’t shine the way it used to.
Dad, this one’s for you. See you soon, Superman.