From Heavens to Hells to Heroes

Our society needs to consider ways of fostering such heroic imagination in all of its citizens, most particularly in our young. As the sophistication of video gaming grows, can the power of this entertainment form be used to educate children about the pitfalls of going along with a herd mentality? Or help them develop their own internal compass in morally ambiguous situations? Or perhaps even help them think about their own ability to act heroically? And as we plow ahead in the digital era, how can the fundamental teachings of a code of honor remain relevant to our daily human interactions?

If we lose the ability to imagine ourselves as heroes, and to understand what true heroism is, our society will be poorer for it. We need to create a viable connection with the latent hero within ourselves. It is this vital, internal conduit between the modern work-a-day world and the mythic world of super heroes that can prepare an ordinary person to become an everyday hero.

There will come a time in each of our lives when three paths lie ahead. To the left, we follow the lead of others mindlessly engaged in some evil, practicing discrimination, or injustice, or abusing their fellows. That is the path of “perpetrators of evil.” To the right, we follow the lead of others who try to ignore the evil in their midst, smilingly looking the other way. That is the path of the “evil of inaction.” To the center, we make up our own mind, to act responsibly as individuals to stand up for what we believe in, to do the right thing when it is easier to do the wrong thing, or to do nothing. That is the path of “ordinary heroes.” Some day when You are faced with that decision matrix, what path will you take? Think Central, and be counted among those who represent this democratic ideal of ordinary heroes in your family, your community, and your nation.

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