I’ve come to realize that most of the role models that I had growing up occupied two categories. They were:
Fictional and were Leaders.
Tall, powerful, confident men who were cool headed, powerful, and skillful who did the right thing at the right time. Men who were devoted to their work or whatever was work to them. Their friends and enemies alike respected them while the ladies couldn’t keep their hands off of them (most of them anyway).
These men came many different backgrounds and genres. They had different personalities despite their obvious leadership qualities, responsibilities, and weaknesses. They had different problems stemming from different struggles and personal demons. But they all one thing in common:
They were all in my book serious badasses in their own given right. This gallery of manliness include men such as:
- General Jack O’Neil and Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell (Stargate SG-1)
- Major, then Lt. Colonel John Shepard (Stargate Atlantis)
- Leon Scott Kennedy (Resident Evil Series)
- James “Jim” Rayner (Starcraft and Starcraft 2 story line)
- Batman – No explanation needed.
- Goliath (from the 90s cartoon series Gargoyles)
I don’t know why I have more fictional role models than real ones. I guess it was all because of my childhood. Growing up it was Darkwing Duck, the Rescue Rangers, and the Gargoyles. Sorry no Power Rangers here – I thought they were too campy and dramatic for me. Although I did have a crush on the Yellow and Pink Ranger!
I guess for me having fictional roles gave me a sense of who I could be without the disappointment of not having another flawed human being disappoint. In fiction, you can see the characters strengths and flaws quite noticeably, or if they weren’t, they would be apparent at some point or another. Fictional characters are in seemed the ideal of what we wish ourselves to be. These men and women represent the idealism that is inside of us. What we wish ourselves to be, what we could be.
I guess that’s also the dangerous part of your idols being fictional. They are simply that they are fictional. It gets easy to be caught up in fantasy – with no real nonfictional role model to see, hear, touch, and meet. There is nothing real about them.
Except they can be real in our minds, the dark recesses of our conscious where they exist as beacons of light. To guide us; remind us sometimes, of what we believe ourselves to be – or will eventually become. They are there because maybe because we don’t have leaders in our lives and/or perhaps we don’t have the leader in ourselves.
It is up to use to instead on relying on our fictional heroes, to allow these images to guide us instead. These fictional heavy weights are simply compasses to guide us to our own inner heroes.
Although he is not a hero of mine per se, I tend to relate to Harry Potter (I know!) a little bit since when I was reading the books I was close to his age when the first book came out. Among the list here for some reason I relate to Leon S. Kennedy. Any man who is capable of taking on hordes of flesh-eating zombies by himself and surviving to get the job done (and get the girl in the end) deserves a medal every day!
After many years of only these fictional heroes to admire, I’ve finally come to recognize some nonfiction heroes to follow and actualize internally. It is my hope that for those of us who only had fictional heroes to follow, that we find actual heroes to follow. In turn, we may actualize the heroes that we actually are, and to show the world who we really are.