We can be Heroes
Just for one day -David Bowie


I saw a post earlier in a group I’m in asking about heroes. This was my response (edited a little for clarity):

“There are those I admire and respect but I don’t do heroes. Started as a kid when those I idolized let me down (people in my life especially). I learned pretty early on that there may be people from whom I may seek to learn some of what they offer but nobody goes on a pedestal. We’re all human-we all can save the day and we all have kryptonite we’re susceptible to.”

We learn as kids to put adults on pedestals. And it makes sense. We depend on them to literally exist and they’re how we learn how to do life from. Most did their best of course and because human, were times where they fail us. Sometimes it’s simply though kid eyes but it was where we were at. Of course, some couldn’t get past their own shit to support littles appropriately.

Through life, I’ve admired and respected many who have taught me, who have supported me, who have encouraged me. There are also those who’ve done none of the last two and have still taught me a great deal. Even “this is not how I want to be” is still an important lesson to learn, and i can appreciate that for what it is (even as I may be hurt, sad, disappointed, pissed, and in some cases cut them out of my life).

Wherever they are, they are my equal, doing the best they can even if I can’t possibly understand it. I don’t care their backstory, their privilege, their bank account or power. All have moments where they shine, all have moments where they suck. It’s part of the experience. No pedestals, we’re all just doing our thing.

I try to see that the other way too. The idea of having followers or fans sort of gives me the heebeejeebees, honestly. I don’t want to be on that pedestal because it’s inevitable that I’ll disappoint. On that pedestal, people create you in a way that isn’t the whole picture and sometimes very little of the picture. No different than anyone else.

I often think of the idea of where leadership falls in all of this. I’ve talked about leadership before and I have a bit of a different take on what that means. I’ll talk about that more another day but what comes through is that instead of being seen as all knowing and deserving of blind loyalty (no one is), a leader should be empowering others to find their own leader within, to be emboldened to be their own hero. Learn, be inspired, be challenged, be bold, be determined and know that the most important answers are never coming from the outside, their within each of us and have always been.

Think of the hero stories out there for our consumption. You know I love that shit more than I’m probably supposed to (who tf cares?) but you know what for me is the best part? That in the good stories, the “heroes” are flawed, sometimes so much so that they fail, they fall, or even turn to the “other side”. They have to grow, learn, face their crap, improvise, work with others, etc. They’re imperfect too.

They’re human (okay, often not “human” or at least earthly “human”, but you get the point). Some days they save the world from Solomon Grundy, others they’re brought down by a pocketful of Kryptonite.

As with all of us, and that just is.



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Rich Levesque

Rich Levesque

Writer. Guide. Mentor. Visionary. Voice. Presence. Geeks out over MCU, Star Wars, baseball, and randomness. Question everything except your worth.