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November 13, 2014 / Fantelius

Trust the Real Heroes

We’ve all had our perspective hammered by the artificial heroes of fiction. These fantasy figures with super power, speed and cleverness have entertained our imaginations since the first stories appeared in the dancing glow of open fires. Hollywood’s version of these counterfeit semi-gods have added technological attributes to their skills and painted symbols of the empire on their costumes, but they play the same part as they’ve always played in all cultures. They release pressure from the valve of frustration by symbolically defeating our oppressors and allowing justice to be victorious, if only in the form of fiction.

The word hero originated from the concept of protection, a defender who watched out for us, someone who ”had our backs” as the modern expression has it. ”Observe”, to watch over, is a cousin word. If we look around us, observe, we have difficulty seeing the heroes because (like their fictitious counterparts) they don’t reveal their heroic abilities unnecessarily. When the time comes and they are needed, they won’t run into a closet, change costume and come out flying, but they will appear in a new heroic character. Or rather, they will reveal the heroic character they’ve always possessed.

We can’t guess who these heroes are or will be. Elvi Sinervo, a great Finnish author who had hands on experience of war and four years of prison, tells us that under extreme circumstances the strong and bold person can turn out to be a whiny coward whereas an unassuming middle-aged woman can transform into a ferocious tiger. These heroes and tigers are all around us. We can’t see them now, but we can be rather certain that they are not the people sitting in high positions. Heroes need to look upwards toward the light from a solid base. Those who look down upon us from the towers of privilege merely cast their own shadow of fear.

We can’t know who the real heroes are. It might even be someone we see in a mirror.


“Real heroes promote the needs and desires of their community.
Their strength is far greater than anything muscles can achieve.”
Dartwill Aquila





Leave a Comment
  1. camelien / Nov 13 2014 11:33 pm

    “Those who look down upon us from the towers of privilege merely cast their own shadow of fear.” Brilliant, you nailed your notion on trust one more time. Thank you. Write on; please!

    • Fantelius / Nov 14 2014 3:18 am

      Thanks. Have you looked in the mirror lately? (Last sentence above.)

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