When a hero is invisible

May 14, 2007

A hero is often what we make them out to be. If one thinks about it carefully, a hero isn’t a hero until he or she receives recognition or appreciation for whatever they have achieved or believed in. A “hero” is spawned or created when society decides that one should be deserving of the title. Most of the time the reasons for it were justified due to their actions resulting in a greater good for the people, or overcoming overwhelming odds which re-evaluates the true capabilities of the human being. What happens when the person in question possesses the same qualities of what most “heroes” shared; with the exception being that he/she is standing by a different ideal compared to the society’s?

When heroes are made.

War is a good example of illustrating my current thoughts on the subject. When you have a leader on both sides and both with their legions of followers, how do we determine who is right and who is wrong? Their objective and motives could be a good reference point to gauge if what he or she is attempting would actually bring a desirable result in the end. The problem here is when both sides do not share an agreement in what would be deemed as a “desirable result” to all. The very reason why conflicts happen is when both sides intend to protect their own interests.

If it is true that for one’s achievement and beliefs to be recognised and appreciated by many is what makes the person heroic; what happens when we have a similar degree in the magnitude of followers on either sides? Does having more people agreeing with you makes it seem you have a higher chance of being on the right track (then again how sure are we that it is the right track?), due to the assumption that the greater the number of people hence the greater their representation of the society in general?

I think one possible reason why certain individuals are more accepted by others for their efforts and beliefs is due to the shared protection of interests by others. I don’t think you’d support someone if you find that his/her beliefs would become a “threat” or may compromise your current or future position in any way, ya? It could be assumed that the more the benefits of a person’s objective would extend to others, the more believers or followers the person could have. Makes a lot of sense too since who wouldn’t side with you if you’re attempting something that would bring them some benefit too?

It’s every man for himself, but if someone opts to champion to your gain then why not?

Funny how the collective support gained in the end originated from each individual’s plan to protect their own individual interests. Everyone is watching out for their own, but somehow it may be easier if you poll the effort with the rest.

When one sees something not visible to others, how is he to make it apparent when no one shares the same vision as he?

Why do you think so many visionaries and ‘heroes’ of current time are only recognised either post-humously or long after their time? This is most likely due to the society’s failure in recognising their contributions until much later, where the positive outcomes are more applicable then. A lot of leaders and inventors that we know of now were mocked and ridiculed at when they first came up with their brilliant ideas and insights. I don’t entirely blame the society then…to be honest, as long as they could not visualise how something could be beneficial to them – they just won’t do. Given that time and era we were all in then, most of us are guilty of only able to see what we are attuned to. All others that we are not familiar with, most of the time we chose not to be receptive to.

Man fear what they do not understand.

The tag ‘hero’ is as labile as the tag of a ‘genius’. The very voice of the society determines who in their eyes are deserving to be recognised as one and vice versa. This, i feel is a double-edged sword. If one is thought upon as a ‘hero’ or a ‘genius’, one could be pretty sure that for you to be one you need to have at least a significant group of people who believes in you. On the other hand, if society just doesn’t agree with you and your ideas are thought to be ‘bizzare’, ‘ridiculous’, or even just plain weird then you would be collectively denounced by the same hand that is capable of honouring you. A lot of geniuses of our time were formerly labelled as “eccentric”, (although it is definitely a more flattering term when in comparison to a variety of other substitutes ) it just goes to show how misunderstood one could be by the rest.

The reason why people turn out to be a genius or a hero later on is when their contributions are finally for once being seen the light by others. But what happens till then? Some just disappeared quietly, some kept sharing their ideas only to be turned down or mocked by some, while some even shed blood over their beliefs but in the end took their revelation to the grave. The problem with mankind is that there is a certain degree of fear accompanying all things that we do not possess an understanding of. Baffled and fearful, although sometimes I feel that we fear our own ignorance more than we fear the ‘threat’ that we believe in an entity. It is always easier for one to say ‘that is absurd’ than to give words of recognition to something that may be potentially brilliant. But then again, what one doesn’t see – one doesn’t even have a chance to appreciate. When you make that decision not to see beyond your lack of understanding, it all ends there.

When a heretic and a genius are two sides of the same coin.

A person, in all their own individuality, is still at the mercy of the society to how their image is projected. When one is poorly understood, there is a tendency to be isolated by others. The reason why so many geniuses suffer through their time is due to the people’s ignorance and their own shortcomings for failing to recognise what is extraordinary in a person. Sometimes it appears to be a crime if one thinks ahead of his time. So brilliant and novel in thought that very very few would share the same insight and ideals as he.

Take the standard IQ test. It consists of a humoungous amount of questions centred around memory, arithmetic, spatial/visual, and sequential/pattern-recognition assessments. I am guessing the reason why these areas are the ones deemed most significant when it comes to assessing one’s intelligence is due to their indispensibility when it comes to survival of the fittest. A person who is able to perform better at the test could be concluded as having a relatively greater ability at problem-solving, which is an essential skill in day to day living and more. But what happens when a person possesses a high level of ability in another dimension of thought that has yet to be recognised?

Nothing reveals more than time itself.

Given that we are trying to make the best out of our current pool of knowledge, the current IQ test would remain the most accepted method of gauging someone’s intelligence until a better represented method of assessment comes along. Those ahead of their time would on and off remain hidden under the radar. But having said that, one must be aware that it doesn’t take a genius to succeed in life. Better equipped at the starting point maybe, but nothing would work until you make something out of it.

A man, no matter how brilliant of a mind he has, is no genius until he sees that capability within himself.

But for all those who has, follow through with your ambitions. Let not the shortcomings of others dampen the light you see in yourself. Have pride in your beliefs for there is no greater satisfaction nor motivation when you get to stand back and admire your piece of work, regardless of how minute someone else may put it to be. There are days where we all would feel the entire world is against us; where it is just you against everyone else. I believe it is good to keep an open mind, and anticipate that one still has room for improvement no matter how much faith you have in yourself. Faith, when paired with determination and perseverance, is a powerful combination. You dream for you believe you could; you strive for you believe you should.

A humble bow to the invisible heroes.

”One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalised, and cruelly mocked, but it cannot be taken away unless it is surrendered” – Michael J. Fox

p.s. Happy Birthday lil’ bro of mine!


One Response to “When a hero is invisible”

  1. CS said

    Is this your 5th year in Doctor of Philosophy? :p

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