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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who is your Hero?

We all need heroes. Images of real or imagined people that make us believe anything is possible, who fill our life with hope and make us dream about a world full of possibilities. Think back at your childhood and the heroes in your life. We still believed in superpowers, invincibility, and the good vs. evil, bravery and courage. Who are your children's heroes?
I ask children to name their heroes and they go blank. I am surprised that I often get "I don't know". I often try to come up with a reasonable explanation for this. Here are my thoughts. Some heroes come from what we see on TV. Nowadays children are being exposed to more reality TV than ever before; for the little ones there are less heroes in the cartoons; for the older ones we have the super races around the world, the teens sharing a home, not to mention the bachelor and other reality TV shows. Can they find heroes here?

We are also more focused on material rewards and gains. We admire the athlete that makes millions of dollars per contract and endorsements; the model that gets paid millions for selling underwear; the movie stars that party around the clock; the popular kid that gets the brand new car and the girls.. We do not focus on the police officers, the teachers, the fire-fighters, the doctors and nurses that save lives and shape our future. Why? Unfortunately, there is no money in those professions compared to the athletes, the movie stars and the rappers.

Finally, we spend less time with our children; we don't have a chance to show them the things that are important to us; how we spend our time and the effort we put forth on working. Become your children's heroes. Be a positive role model for altruism, volunteer work, and help those in need. Create a social conscience in your child and the world will be better. Talk to your children about the heroes out there, the philanthropists that donate money to combat hunger; the minority group member who became a political leader; the woman who has become a self made achiever and the hero next door who is always available to lend a hand.

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