Is it my age, or is it the times we are in? I used to find it so easy to find public figures to admire, to look up to, in the past. Sure, there was always the assortment of venal politicians and marketers and financiers and so forth, but there were also lots of people aspiring to something better, selfless and for the greater good.
Showing my age, I was a follower of the Band-Aid phenomenon. I believed in that, long after studies and exposes suggested little of the money got to Africa, and even less did any good. At worst I thought it was well-intentioned naiveté, a glorious and somewhat Quixotic tilting at the windmills of fate.
I admired – pretty much worshipped if I am honest – people like Bono. He was a muse of mine for my early writing – his passion and his open-hearted spirituality were an inspiration to a young girl who loved to write but had little passionate experience to draw from. But now, where is Bono? Hob-nobbing with the financially and politically powerful?? Did he mean well when he started on that path, and could he really know, in any case? The ego is a seductive creature after all. And he’s not alone in this, the firebrand of youth burns so bright but so brief. And so how sad it is when it seems your idols truly have feet of clay.
Which led me to wonder, who is there now in the modern scene that inspires that sense of greater purposes? Of goodness, for goodness’ sake! Is there anything in the zeitgeist that isn’t about narcissism and greed? I’m out of touch – or at least I hope that’s what it is – so help me if you can. Where are the heroes now? Where are the humanitarians? Who is spreading a message of good and caring in the world?
I don’t want to think finer feeling is passé. Please tell me it isn’t so, please introduce me to your heroes, your idols, the ones in the public eye that make you want to stand and applaud, not shake your head and sadly turn away.
I know there are many day-to-day, private heroes – we all have them in our lives – and they are worthy beyond measure. But we also need the ones on the public stage to carry that message more strongly and completely to the collective. And I find myself wondering, increasingly these days, where they have gone…..
Are we the era of greed and nihilism, or are there avatars for something greater and better? What do you think?
Cheers Helen V