When I grew up, heroes were important!
Sometimes the hero would be someone from the movies or television who would protect the vulnerable or accomplish what we thought was the impossible.
Sometimes our hero would be a sports figure who broke Olympic records, climbed the highest mountain or won championships.
Heroes were people who inspired us with their art, music or dance skills. They were the novelists, composers and playwrights who translated human emotion and experience into works that inspired and challenged us.
Inventors and business leaders often faced adversity and failed long before they succeeded. Their stories gave us hope that we too could persevere and reach our goals.
Politicians stood up against opposition and dwindling coffers so that laws could be legislated, and infrastructure developed.
Those who fought for causes such as equal rights sacrificed personally for the benefit of others.
The sick and disabled encouraged us to try harder to overcome our limitations.
Community members who volunteered, raised funds for charity and shared their assets with others reminded us of our responsibility to each other.
Many adults in our lives taught us about work ethic and wisdom through their examples and mentoring. Teachers introduced us to interesting things that we otherwise would not have considered.
Sometimes heroes were honoured with awards, ceremonies or even statues. Some were entered in history books, had buildings, streets or even cities named after them.
Even though they might have had a significant impact, we always knew that they also had failings and were very human. That did not negate what they had done though. We respected and honoured them for the area in which they had achieved.
It is confusing now. Many of our heroes are losing their status because of information that has recently been gathered or societal values have changed. Statues are being torn down and written history is being challenged. People who had previously been respected are being condemned for their personal flaws or attitudes.
When I ask clients to tell me about their heroes, I am frequently told that they don't have any. That is sad!
On the other hand, perhaps that leaves an opportunity for each of us fill the gap. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to pretend you have it all together. Just make good choices and set an example for others.
The words of David Allen, productivity expert, explains it this way:"Small things done consistently, in strategic places, create major impact".