The Big Difference Essay, Research Paper
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a
sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him
1 Samuel 17:50
Most of us, if not all of us, when asked to name our heroes come up with names of rock stars, highly paid athletes, pillars of the movie industry, well-acclaimed directors, people who storm the front pages of our dailies names that are engraved on the walls of prestige and fame.
In times of war or any occurrence wherein death is involved, somehow a line is drawn and we are able to clearly define the people and the names that fit in each sound of the word, hero. We start to grasp the idea that they are the men and women who emerged from the shadows of fear, defied danger and death for the sake of what they believed in, considered the personal cost and risk involved, and still placed themselves into thin ice in defense of something beyond what the glamour of the front pages of our newspapers could ever reach. The conflicts end, and tranquility once again enveloped our lives. We build statues, name our streets and educational institutions after them, placed them upon a pedestal all because our elders led us to believe that they died for a cause. We memorize their names and what they had done for the sake of getting the right answer in our exams. Lately however, streets are now being named after famous but not heroic personalities. Students begin memorizing their names. The bottom of it all is that, our hearts seems to be locked up in the idea that heroes and celebrities are of the same level.
Why do I consider heroes different from famous personalities? I believe that heroes are not born. Neither are they made. They are individuals who do not consider themselves brave or heroic but when a countenance that leads to a huge sacrifice and sometimes death comes along the way, they act immediately and decisively. They never seek to be different, they simply are different and that difference was engendered in them by fate.
The only thing that heroes and celebrities have in common is that they are also rarely born with celebrity status. Not all of us would be able to make it in the news, sweep several people of their feet to witness our performance and the like, which are synonymous to glitter and fame.
Here is an illustration of the difference between heroes and celebrities: Saul, the first king of ancient Israel was a handsome man who stood above most people in social standing and stature. Yet, when the Philistines came to battle with Israel, he backed away from the danger. But a teenager, David, saw the towering Goliath among the enemy soldiers and fought and killed him.(1 Samuel 17: 41-58) David was a hero and Saul was a celebrity. However, I also believe that even if Saul battled with the Philistines, his act still, isn t a quantifiable heroic deed mainly because as the king of Israel, it is his duty to protect his people.
It is of great importance that we know the line that separates heroes from known figures of the world. Come to think of it, if we don t know the difference, how will we know what really counts in life? Embracing the idea that celebrities are heroes too also means believing that fame, glitter and glamour count most in life. There is more to life than those three, and that is finding ourselves as part of others.
There is a difference a big one.