My wife believes that one should not look up to anyone, that bar none, these people we identify as out heroes will without exception let us down. How can I argue with her on that? Bill Clinton, John Edwards, Barry Bonds, Newt Gingrich, heck even Mr. Virtue himself Bill Bennett all showed themselves to be weak and then deceitful as they proclaimed their innocence to the world.
It isn't flaws in their day-to-day nor is it their hanky-panky that disappoints me. It is their adherence to an image of "I don't do such things" while they are actually doing such things that makes me sigh.
So knowing this to be the case, that all of us are flawed, can anyone be called a hero or looked at as a person of integrity and value? The optimist in me says "yes" - and so begins my quest to identify five people that are worth looking up to, maybe even emulating.
First on my list is James Edwin Horton Jr. You can read about him @ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/scottsboro/peopleevents/p_horton.html
Why do I admire him.......?
When it was suggested that if Horton dared annul the jury's verdict, his re-election in 1934 would be in doubt, Judge Horton replied with a smile: "What does that have to do with the case?" Horton lost his bid for re-election the following year. He retired to his land, a villain to some, a hero to many.
To do the right thing - what you feel or know to be right - when it will no doubt come at your own expense - that is why I think he should be admired. Would I, faced with the inevitable outcome, do the right thing? I would like to think so. But then again how many times have I taken the coward’s way out and remained silent? OK, so maybe a man's life was not on the line - but still, how many times have I failed to step up and say "stop!" Too many if I am to be totally honest with myself.