Larger-than-life heroes. We see them all of the time because they’re right in front of our noses. Football players. Baseball players. Singers. Celebrities. Movie stars. Reality television stars. The media celebrates them all—and criticizes them when it deems appropriate to do so.
What makes them a hero?
A larger-than-life hero is someone who is constantly in the spotlight and performs great acts in their field. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks is a football player already known for greatness even though he’s young in his career. Clint Eastwood is a great actor and director in the film industry. And Garth Brooks has had his fair share of recognition in the music industry.
Why do larger-than-life heroes influence those around them?
These heroes become someone that everyone wants to emulate because of what they do. For example, many people admire Wilson. Even when he played as a quarterback at NC State, he had fans all the way from alumni to small children.
These heroes can also influence their industry. Both Eastwood and Brooks have done so in their respective industries. Through his acting, directing, and producing within the film industry, Eastwood has left a unique mark that others as they rise in this industry, strive to follow. Brooks has also profoundly influenced the country music industry and helped send it in a new direction during his initial rise to fame.
How do larger-than-life heroes conduct themselves when they know the spotlight?
For larger-than-life heroes, the spotlight literally falls on them, be it on the gridiron, on screen, or on stage. They get paid money most of us could only dream of making. Some of these heroes see this as a big responsibility and work to utilize the money with which they have been blessed in ways that can benefit those less fortunate. They tend to conduct themselves in a quiet manner outside of their profession that doesn’t generate headlines. Others gravitate toward anything that gets them attention, be it work in their field or acts that generate headlines. Their lives become a constant case of drama upon drama.
What kinds of burdens do larger-than-life heroes carry?
For these types of heroes, each day may mean people constantly meddling in their business. They can be treated like gods and goddesses by being placed upon a pedestal with the pressure of perfection riding upon their shoulders. When not handled well, such pressure can make a person crumble. Some do. Others learn to cope well. Regardless, I’m sure that being constantly in the public eye can get old.
Should we call these larger-than-life figures heroes? I think the answer is yes for the most part. Sure, there are some that will grab their fifteen seconds of fame and try to hold on to it no matter what. But most of these types of heroes are having an impact in their fields and on the lives of their fans. And most realize that they are in the spotlight and carry those burden of being a larger-than-life hero without complaint.
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