When I was in 8th grade, I started playing football. I was already behind the curve as most of my teammates in the football-rich school had been playing for a couple of years already, but I quickly showed skills and worked my way up the depth chart as a running back. By sophomore year in high school, I was the starting running back and led my team to a one-loss season. I was good, but at 5’7″ I either needed to be Barry Sanders or give up on any hope that I could play in college, let alone professionally.
In college, I discovered a love for movies. I enjoyed watching them and started my own screenplay. I studied actors, filmmakers, genres, styles – for years after college and well into my adult life I knew for sure that I would end up in Hollywood. That dream didn’t die because I didn’t have the talent. It died because my politically conservative and Christian-guided heart couldn’t imagine being able to survive in an atmosphere that has become a mouthpiece for liberal thought and a trumpet for anti-Christian teachings.
A barely watch sports anymore. I rarely watch movies or television. Both have gone from being important parts of my life to representations of the very things I fight against every day. America and the world are no longer enriched by those who entertain us. The people in sports and Hollywood should not be our heroes. That’s not to say that there are no good and honorable people playing sports or making movies. They’re just rare. They’ve been replaced by narcissistic hypocrites that rise to power through money and fame and then use this power to knowingly or unwittingly misguide their fans to go down the wrong path.
It’s not Manti Te’o. It’s not Kim Kardashian. It’s not Lance Armstrong, Tom Cruise, Kobe Bryant, or any one individual. It’s the industries. They have been forged to embrace agendas that are not positive, not heroic, and not productive.
American society has such a desperate need to let go of the veiled demagoguery that pervades Hollywood, to denounce the utter lack of admirable behavior of athletes on their pedestals. As groups, they are not worthy of our attention. Individual talents displayed live or on television do not fulfill us. They distract us from our proper course. Evil men like Michael Vick are given a reprieve and the opportunity to make more money per season than many people make in two decades, and we pay to see him. He spend our time and our efforts rooting for him. We enable him to reach our children and demand our attention.
As a society, we are idolatrous sheep.
What the country needs is a focus on real heroes. It’s not just about learning of their stories or following their path. It’s about striving to be the heroes, even if only for a single person. It’s not just the firefighters and police officers, the teachers and the military, or any of the other professions where heroes are able to stand out through their actions. We need everyday people who are willing to stand up and fight against the things that are wrong with society. We need everyday people to be a hero for a family that needs food, a child that needs a blanket, a baby that needs parents. We need people to speak out against the tyranny that is forming domestically and abroad. We need Americans to reach out to the elderly and read them passages from the Bible because their eyes cannot serve them properly anymore.
If everyone would dismiss the appointed heroes of our society and use the time wasted on television or gossip columns to be a true hero themselves, we have a chance of recapturing the way of life that guided us when we were truly one nation under God. Otherwise, we will continue to be lost in blindness and beholden to society of false idols.