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25 March 2009 @ 11:59 am
On Being a Hero  
Last weekend, Nate went to Minneapolis. Some guy was evidently handing out business cards advertising himself as an "everyday super-hero." He would just go around and try to do genuinely nice and helpful things for everyone; his mantra was something to the effect of: "if everyone was an everyday super-hero, we wouldn't need policemen."

I love this idea, but there is an inherent flaw to it. That flaw comes in the recent trend of self-esteem and the idea of everyone as "unique snowflakes." This causes us to believe that our own selves are the only ones we can rely on and that everyone else be damned. No one will go out of their way to help their fellow man.

I have two examples to support this:

1. Today I was walking around campus with my shoes that are too big. I tripped a bit and fell forward, almost landing on my face. I was surrounded by people. No one hardly even looked up.

2. About four years ago, I got in a car accident in the middle of an intersection. It was 5:00 on a Tuesday evening. There were at least thirty cars witness to this. No one stopped.

In order for this hopeful "everyday super-hero"'s idea to work, society would have to get over this "me, me, me" philosophy and focus just a little bit more on other people - and not just their friends or celebrities or whoever they're trying to butter up that week. But the common man. And this isn't even a principle that would need to be universally adopted. We would just need a good chunk of everyday mankind to be a little bit less of a dick every day.

How do we accomplish this? It's not even that hard. Just be a good person. Walk with your head up and fucking smile at people. Help someone when they trip. When some guy is carrying heavy groceries, offer to hold the door or carry a bag or two. Stop and introduce yourself to the old lady next door - she's probably super-nice and can tell you great stories about when she was a cocktail waitress. Give someone a goddamn compliment.

Do any of these sound like super-hard things to do? No. No, they fucking don't. Yes, I'm a bitch sometimes, but I can manage to be patient and polite at Target and I can offer to help someone at work move three boxes down the hall. It is not that hard at all.
 
 
 
locke314locke314 on March 25th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
In defense of the general population on your number two up there....

Ive heard from different sources that its generally not a good idea to stop unless it appears that there is immediate danger to the people involved. This means evidence of a fire or a rollover case. Police have said that stopping can just clutter up the roads and cause more potential collisions, especially in one of the city's busier intersections.

I believe the fundamental flaw though, not the "me" attitude, but the general laziness of the population. The real flaw is the apathy of people; the "somebody else will deal with it" idea.