- Thoughts for inspired living

January 12, 2009


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:46 am

Do you have heroes?

I remember a host of them growing up – cowboys, superheroes, athletes and musicians.

These are typically people we would like to be like. Such was the case with my older sister’s boyfriend. He was everything I wasn’t. He could play all sports well, especially basketball. He was extremely competitive and smart as a whip. He was a great story teller and could make people laugh. He had the muscles I didn’t and a drive to succeed at whatever he tackled.

He and my sister got married rather young and had 4 children together. They moved away so we didn’t get to see them that often but, when we did, it was always great fun and camaraderie.

Years later, they divorced but I still got to see him during family functions that involved their children. It was always as if no time had passed. We would engage as though we had seen each other yesterday. My mother and father still loved him and so did I. We didn’t exchange Christmas cards or call each other on the phone but that connection was always alive.

He battled some personal demons along the way and eventually put them behind him, just like he did when he would leave you in the dust in a foot race.

Sadly, today, he’s at death’s doorstep, surrounded by his children saying their goodbyes. It’s a heavy time for all of us, close and distant alike.

As I grew older, I eventually got to see my hero as a person just like me – one with skills and flaws. My main memory of him will always be the dashing, fearless, fun to be around young man with loads of charm.

What I came to learn through knowing him as a person is that if you attempt to keep someone on a pedestal, you set yourself up for disappointment. It’s really unfair to all involved because holding on to heroes makes their fall even harder. You both suffer by putting the weight of unrealistic expectations on their shoulders and not allowing them to let their hair down. They eventually fall down and so do you.

It’s wonderful to admire people and emulate their traits. That helps you grow. The moment you expect something more from another than is humanly possible, you tarnish your hero, and you stay stuck.

I have been immeasurably enriched by getting to know my hero as a person whose animating spirit is about to change form. I treasure his memory and will call on his spirit in my times of need.

I love you, Joe!

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