Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Convenience & Pitfalls of Picking Yourself As Your Hero.

Yes, my hero is me.

I don't mean that as a compliment. I don't mean it
as conceitedness. I'm not a stuffy person. I mean only
that it's both convenient & practical to have yourself
as your hero. Conceitedness has absolutely nothing to
do with it.

First, I'm present more than anybody else in my life.
I'm here all the time. Even when I'm sleeping, my dreams
are basically full of myself. Dreams are nothing if not myself
placed into other people, furniture, animals, and situations
so to see me from different angles. I didn't invent dreams,
or myself. It's not my doing that my life is full of myself,
asleep or awake, thus making it inviting to consider myself
as my hero. Why?

Because I would be a fool not to take advantage of my constant
closeness, as far as heroism goes. Whatever benefits I want to
receive out of having a hero, if I'm my own, then I can get those
benefits 24 hours a day. I never have to go look for my hero
someplace else. I never have to even think of them or drive by
their house or go get a book they wrote or watch a movie they
starred in and got millions for while my ticket price goes up,
although I understand economics, more or less. As your own hero,
you are always right here to be inspired by yourself, providing
you're both inspirational and open to being inspired at the same

As it is in dreams, so it is in waking life: even when you
think about other people, you're really thinking about yourself
indirectly. Your views of them are filtered and smeared and
stained with your own perceptions, likes, wants, and moods.
So why not surrender to the fact that everybody and everything
in your life is really just a middleman to yourself. Therefore,
cut out the middleman and pick yourself as your hero. It's your
choice, of course.

Furthermore, I know secrets about myself that I might not know
about somebody else if I had them as my hero. Secrets I may
just not want to particularly know. It might be a little
harder to have someone as your hero if you know every single
thing they do and think all day long, and night, too. Imagine
knowing your hero as well as you know yourself. But you
can always use a little bit of denial and put on rose-colored
glasses to overlook certain disgusting or alarming thoughts
you have, or irksome peccadilloes you exhibit, or revolting
opinions you harbor, or eyebrow-raising activities you might
participate in with yourself or others.

I also must note that as my own hero, I get on my nerves at
times. That is, the hero part of me does get bugged by the
non-hero part. Imagine having somebody that sees you as their
hero following you around 24 hours a day. Not only following
you around, but inside your head watching every thought, and
participating intimately in every activity you do. That could
get annoying, or even somewhat frightening at times.

So, you have to make certain allowances for yourself, or for
the different parts of yourself, hero and non-hero alike. I
know I do, in any case. Sometimes both heroes and fans are
annoying, that much more when you are both of them at once.

Of course, the main point of having a hero is that it gives you
something to live up to, or feel good about; that there's at least
one person in the world who understands you and loves you and leads
you on a heroic path, even if they never heard of you and never will.
Even if when you write them a letter of admiration they might have
their robot secretary answer you, if you're lucky. Even if you saw
them rushing down the street surrounded by a retinue of hanger-ons
and bodyguards, they wouldn't even bother to look your way if you
screamed and jumped up and down and threw your clothes in the air.

If you have yourself as your hero, you may not always be able to
inspire yourself as much as some conventional external hero, but
you never have to go through any of the humiliating experiences
above either. As your own hero, you always answer your own love
letters promptly. You always wave back when you wave. You always
humbly and happily give yourself your own signature, day or night.
And you certainly never have to throw your clothes in the air
to get your own attention.

In other words, you can't get away from yourself. In fact, if
you're not your own hero, there will be somebody around you all
the time who is constantly failing to live up to the standards
you have set that are based on your hero. Is that what you want?
I suspect not, but if I'm wrong, then so be it and be my guest.

You can have other heroes, of course, and should, and I do. I
have writer heroes. I have sports heroes. I have spiritual
heroes and political heroes and attractiveness heroes. But they
are not around all the time. They might be in my head, but I
forget about them. Do I ever really forget about myself. Not in
so many words. I may not be hero material, to be sure, but the
convenience of self-heroism far outreaches the inevitable lowering
of standards. You never have to fear finding out some sickening
secret about them that causes you to dump them as your hero, because
you already know all the sickening secrets about yourself.

Therefore, after much difficult and pain-staking consideration,
my hero is myself.

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