As a child I looked up to movie stars such as James Bond, Bruce Lee and of course, Superman. The TV was also a huge influence, full of strong (male-dominated) characters - from He-Man to The A-Team. My friends all wanted to be James Bond - he was cool, had adventures and always got the girl. By today's standards not the most politically correct role model, maybe, but still!
OK, so they were mostly fantasy-based, but they were strong characters and stood for what was right and just, it wasn't about me, me, me! They wanted to make the world a better, safer place for everyone - I grew up wanting to change the world, wanting to be the change, I didn't actually manage it :/
But those values were still embedded and worth holding onto, as I still do today.
Of course, the real heroes of the 20th century were actually the likes of Winston Churchill, Princess Diana and Gandhi, Martin Luther King, mainly because they were steadfast in their goals, and understood how to engage with people on a whole other level.
Today's society seems lost by comparison and their 'heroes' are 15 minute fame grabbing 'celebrities' - the only ambition they have is to be instantaneously rich and famous, and to hell with the world. I wonder what long-term effects this will have on the kids of today? The recent riots may have been a glimpse into their idea of what they perceive as right and wrong and reflect this vision.
Let's not forget the media, who play a huge role in fabricating idol-ism. They build up the 'next big thing' to happily bring them crashing down. We have seen this time and again with the likes of sports stars and musicians.
Given the state of society today, we need heroes more than ever, they offer us hope! Who is/was your hero? Name them and give them the credit they deserve.