It's Martin Luther King JR's day, or something. I think that's the actual name. It's a day in which we remember Martin Luther King Jr., essentially and think about all the great things he's done for us. He's one of society's heroes, a civil rights leader to be remembered for his courageous acts in the face of injustice, and his dream of equality.
Now, obviously, I am not here to praise any of that. This is not that type of blog. I think he's just like any other man, and in fact, he was put on the pedestal not because of transcending typical human qualities of being a scumbag and a jerk, which he was, but in a lesser sense than most. (I'm going off the information found here, for those who are curious and ready to hurl the curses, http://www.snopes.com/history/american/mlking.asp) What I want to talk about is just what people really look for in a leader. I don't know for sure, in fact, anyone's free to debate, but my bet is, in a hero, people really mean to look for a leader.
First off, I don't think leadership is that rare a quality as it's made out to be. In the earlier post about school education, I've expanded slightly on John Gatto's thesis that schools are made to dumb kids down. They are also made to suppress leadership skills as well. With the huge emphasis on rules in the school, there is very little chance for any initiative. Believe me, whenever I've tried something new in high school, it either ended up as total failure or a success, based on whether the teacher was lenient. My school was made to narrow people down, to not allow them to stray away from the crowd. Attempts to lead a class discussion were curbed in order to give the other students a chance. But that's the thing! This is what puts leaders above others, they take the chance away from others! You can't lead unless you've placed yourself as the leader. Schools make society sound as a pool of fairness where everyone has the same opportunities. That is not true. Teaching kids bullshit like that is exactly what stops most of them from becoming leaders. They expect an opportunity to come to them. It does not work that way. Opportunities must be chased in order to be seized.
To become a hero is simple; you have to be an admired leader. In a sense, all leaders appeal to the public; it is much harder to control by force than appeal, (a point well made in Brave New World by Huxley, when compared to 1984 by whatever the guy's name was). Even Hitler, a person whom I normally abstain from mentioning due to the many stupid misconceptions surrounding him, appealed to people as a leader. Most presidents are considered fine leaders, except those who failed to appeal to the public.
The formula becomes clear: to become a hero you need to be a leader and take charge of a movement, and to appeal to the public. Of course that will at first make you become a great leader, but not necessarily a hero, but after a while, if your appeal persists and the public really digs what you've done, you become a hero.
What I hope becomes clear, is that heroes are not really much different from anyone else, (except the losers, of course). It's just people who have leadership qualities and appeal. Popular culture reveres the heroes we experiences, while education crushes the next generation before they even have a chance. There will come a time, I believe, when all the heroes will be in the past. I don't necessarily like to leave a post on a positive note, but I will this time, just for the sake of those who are wondering about it. Yes, you can become a leader, and even a hero who will be remembered for something great. It is not as hard as it looks.