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Sunday, 8 February 2009

Heroes Part Deux!

Continuing our diatribe, or ramble, on heroes, one of my wise commenters - For there are many - Protege, wrote beautifully yesterday:

" To me a hero is just a human being, a man or a woman, who can make it through each and every day and face the difficulties with an open mind and an endless optimism. ;)
Someone who never ever stops dreaming, never stops being kind and compassionate... No matter what they face".

Similarly, Jinksy said,

"My vote goes to the unsung heroes who live their lives simply and quietly but still manage to inspire others by their example".

Others were able to point the finger at people they knew: Strong and honourable parents; brave and stoical friends; People struggling through circumstances you would never wish your worse enemy to experience...

I am glad to have encouraged people to think about heroes and heroines, for to hold close and recall bits and pieces, fragments, of their lives is to continue to honour them - No matter what background they might have come from - Great or humble - And if, in some respects, we choose to emulate some of their strengths or better behaviours, then it might in turn help us to become stronger ourselves - It is important to appreciate that everyone can take the lead, even 'though we might not see ourselves as such...

"Heroism breeds heroism. In a world of ever-increasing materialism and cynicism, heroes (can) bring out the best in people and highlight what is truly important in the world.

Heroes are role models who inspire us to lead better lives and refind our love for (our) fellow man... Heroism is an eternal force, an infinite loop. Just as there will always be heroes, there will always be a need for heroes.

Heroism transcends typical human divisions; class, nationality, religion".

...from Dean Duke, The Importance of Heroes

heroes Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket One of my most recent heroes is Odetta Holmes, December 31 1930 – December 2 2008. And here I make my (almost daily) trip to see the Goddess Wiki:

"Known as Odetta, she was an American singer, actress, guitarist, songwriter, and a human rights activist, often referred to as "The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement". Her musical repertoire consisted largely of American folk music, blues, jazz, and spirituals. An important figure in the American folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was influential musically and ideologically to many of the key figures of the folk-revival of that time, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Mavis Staples, and Janis Joplin.

* Joan Baez said "Odetta was a goddess. Her passion moved me. I learned everything she sang."

* Janis Joplin - "Janis spent much of her adolescence listening to Odetta, who was also the first person Janis imitated when she started singing".

Photobucket * Poet Maya Angelou once said, "If only one could be sure that every fifty years a voice and a soul like Odetta's would come along, the centuries would pass so quickly and painlessly we would hardly recognize time.""

Josephine Baker Pictures, Images and Photos Earlier still, I listened to the mellifluous sounds of Paris in the Thirties and Forties, and came across the tunes, La Petite Tonkinoise and J'ai Deux Amours, enchantingly rendered by Josephine Baker, who was an American expatriate entertainer and actress, who became a French citizen in 1937". (Wiki)

Josephine Baker Pictures, Images and Photos Baker was a celebrated dancer in her early career, performing practically topless and causing delight and public scandal by turns - Josephine Baker Pictures, Images and Photos One of her famous stage costumes had a skirt of huge bananas, and she would perform like some bizarre disembodied dancer atop a little girl's flower bedecked jewellery box. Josephine Baker Pictures, Images and Photos Josephine turned to singing once she had gained considerable popularity in France, where she has always been known as "La Baker".

Josephine Baker Pictures, Images and Photos "Baker was the first African American female to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. She was offered the leadership of the Civil Rights movement by Coretta Scott King in 1968 following Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, but turned it down, for assisting the French Resistance during the Second World War" (in occupied France) "and being the first American-born woman to receive the highest French military honor, La Croix de Guerre, and for being an inspiration to generations of African American female entertainers and others.

Josephine Baker's Children Pictures, Images and Photos La Baker "protested in her own way against racism, adopting 12 multi-ethnic orphans, whom she called the "Rainbow Tribe."," long before la Jolie, people! And long before magazines and the press began to dictate whom we should regard as our heroes...

Prince - The Rainbow Children Pictures, Images and Photos

One of my own heroines is an earth angel. Ellen is someone I met through work. Disabled by a ski-ing accident, subsequently divorced and bringing up a fabulous student son, Ellen lives her life as a quadraplegic. She has an extraordinarily positive, endlessly difficult life, not without daily barriers in terms of managing on her own - She is always beautifully turned out, elegant and poised - I so envy that in other women! and this is usually on those days when I arrive at the office with my dress inside out, holes in my opaque tights (pantyhose), and a piece of toast still stuck to my head! \"Hey, at least Im not dressed as badly as Austin Powers!\" (But still, that yellow/pink combo is horrible!) Pictures, Images and Photos

omg Pictures, Images and Photos

Ellen commutes each day, driving her adapted car to meetings, accessing often challenging buildings, and she is raising a fabulous son, and holds down a high-powered career - And her job is one in which she has helped others - Young people without career direction, and now those who are homeless - to improve their own lot in life...

Aaw.^^ Pictures, Images and Photos Ellen is a star, leading from the front - Perhaps not in such a public way as Odetta and Josephine, but she is a star nonetheless.

If you haven't already told me who your heroes and heroines are, then please do choose to leave a comment. Who are the stars in your sky?! star Pictures, Images and Photos

We could be heroes, just for one day...
David Bowie


Chairman Bill said...

To switch genders: Aung San Suu Kyi

blognut said...

I am inspired - I will have to think about this for awhile. :)

lakeviewer said...

This is a thought-provoking piece. Thank you. Most of us never really think about this topic seriously until it is presented to us the way you did, with examples, listing people who have contributed heroically to our "ideal mode" of living. Yet, they were not considered heroes in their lifetimes.They stood alone, yet, their example encouraged others.

On a personal note, I like to share my hero. She was my principal early in my career, when I needed to return to work to finish the number of days to qualify me for permanency. I had just delivered a baby five weeks earlier, the doctor barely cleared me to return to work when I told her how difficult it was for me to leave the baby. She suggested I bring the baby to work, and then, she made all the arrangements.

Her example, of bending rules and working out solutions, became my own mantra.

jinksy said...

I thought long and hard about yeaterday's comment, so I'm glad it struck a chord. I do have a serious side, even though I play the clown! x

Michelle said...

Hi Fhina,
I thought about who my hero may be and honestly I couldn't come up with anybody specific. But this is what I did come up with. Since I am a runner, my heros are those people who get to the starting line of a race, any race and then proceeds to finish it. NO MATTER WHAT!!! Well if they are hurt or sick than of course not but people who just don't give up and aren't quitters. Does this sound shallow and narcissistic? I hope not!!! Tell me Fhina if you think it does.

I just love positive people who even under adversity do what they set out to do. They rock my socks off!!!!

I hope I am like that to a certain extent!!!!


Cynthia said...

David Bowie sang to the 9/11 firefighters and police of New York city in an appreciation concert for their rescue efforts after the crisis. He sang his You/We could be heros song...it was inspiring. As is your hero post theme!

Protege said...

Ah, I am so flattered that you chose to quote me in yet another, wonderful post. Your friend Ellen, or someone like her, is exactly who I had in mind when I wrote those lines.;)

Diane said...

I love your heroes! I have one who, like your friend, lives his life in a wheelchair because of an accident he caused. He has never felt sorry for himself, though, and he now teaches physical education in an elementary school... he also skiis and skydives and does more than most able-bodied people do. Another is my brother, who is deaf. He was the first deaf EMT (emergency medical technician) in the state of VA, something amazingly difficult. He never lets his 'disability' hold him back and that's HUGE in my hero book!

Anonymous said...

An entertaining post! Great choice of heroes! Bravo.

French Fancy said...

Since your first post on this subject I have given quite a bit of thought to 'my heroes'. I still can't decide who they are. I could go for lots of obviously overt type of heroic person who did the Great Deed, but I would only be paying lip service to this.Thus my jury is still out on this.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Chairman Bill: Sir, I am ashamed to say I had to Google Aung San Suu Kyi - She is indeed a modern-day hero, so brave to take such a stance in the face of such danger!

blognut: How's the thinking going? Are those blognut cogs whirring?

lakeviewer: Glad you like thinking of this - In your Law Enforcement, and other experiences, I will bet you demonstrated heroism every day, and encouraged others to be the best they could be! Often that is enough... Just as with your treasured principal - An excellent example, and what such great leaders do to help benefit our stress levels and mental health is magnificent, and there should be more of it about!

jinksy: Clowns are brave too!

Michelle: You are so right, those who can go the distance in life, setting themselves goals and challenging milestones are strong and honourable folk! Keeping motivated is not always easy...and sometimes it's easier to give up than it is to run the race! Such are life's lessons, eh? Have a great week, you!

Cynthia: I hadn't fully noticed that I'd chosen the pic of David Bowie to demonstrate my less well-dressed days, (usually he is elegance personified), together with the line from his lyrics. And I had not known that he had sung to the 9/11 firefighters and police of New York city - Heroes all, every day in life!

Protege: I am honoured that you come and see me, and glad to quote your wonderful words! We all know an Ellen, I think, and we maybe don't always recognise that everyday herooism when we are faced with it... Blessings to you, P!

Diane: You inspired me to this theme, Diane, and I hope to encourage others to think about your heroic fundraising ahead too! Thank you. I could not think of sky-diving, so my feathered bonnet is well and truly off to your friend, and indeed your brother - You are obviously so proud of him... Wonderful stuff! xox

CLAY: Glad you are enjoying the ride, as I am enjoying your prolific and perfect writing journey myself!

French Fancy: Keep thinking, Toots, I am on a roll with my heroes, and will continue a little while longer, I think, if that's okay? It'll give you time to ponder...

Braja said...

Those who maintain...who can achieve what they wanted, whatever it is, just by keeping at it...it's so rare.

Comedy Goddess said...

Today I would say my daughter is my hero. She has had a vastly different childhood than mine, going between her home with me and to her dad's weirdness. And yet, she is such a good natured child. She is happier than some of her friends who live in tradtional families. She is my hero.

AlekSandra said...

Great post,even greater blog!Thank you for it.Happy Valentines Day,love and greatingzzz from Holland!Cheerz!

Something I wrote earlier...

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