Where Have All the Heroes Gone?

“Poor is the nation that has no heroes. Shameful is the one that, having them, forgets”

Author Unknown

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It is currently out of vogue in some quarters to speak respectfully of our past, or honor those in it as heroes.

We are harsh judges of the past.

Things have not always been as they are now. Every person who has ever lived has been uniquely shaped by the time in which they lived, and we are no exceptions.

Yet, how quickly we judge history and its inhabitants by our standards and judgments. We look back with the clarity of hindsight and say, “I would have done differently.”

I’m not so sure.

Our errors may be different, but our time has more than its share of blindspots. There will come a time when a future generation will scratch their head and say, “How could they have gotten it SO wrong? How could self-professing Christians have acted that way?”

Human nature being what it is, I suspect we’ll get about as much mercy in their estimation as we give in ours. And it will be deserved.

One of the gifts of history is its reminder that out of the imperfect past of an imperfect people, imperfect heroes arise. We honor what is honorable in an individual without ignoring their flawed humanity. They challenge us to strive for greatness despite our own fallen, flawed nature.

And they are memorials to our growth and progress as a people. We are not what we once were, and we are not yet what we will be.

A nation with only perfect heroes is a nation without heroes, and a nation without heroes is a nation without a soul.

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