This is something that was brought to my attention, in passing, as a subject of discussion on Bullshido.
To preface this, Kyle Maynard probably doesn’t describe himself as a hero. And for what he’s accomplished, Kyle Maynard could even be considered somewhat badass.
Here’s what I posted, slightly adjusted for audience.
There’s two sides to this story for any logical, rational person:
1. Guy with a ton of physical handicaps busts his ass to be good at something. Cool!
2. Guy with a ton of physical handicaps that prevent him from fully participating in a sport feels he’s owed the right to exploit the rules, drag down the sport (literally and figuratively), and get a disproportionately large pat on the back for not just resigning himself to being a punchline for jokes that end with “Phil”, and “Matt”. Not Cool.
IMO it’s a product of our fucking Oprah-ized, spoiled suburban culture that everyone now expects a pat on the back for busting their ass to achieve something or overcome obstacles. It’s like nobody recognizes that that’s the @#(#ing point of life, and everyone has their own challenges to face. You’re not a [email protected])$ing hero for doing the best with what you’ve got, you’re a human being.
Kyle Maynard grappling
Have our standards sunk so low? Do people really need to be told they’re heroes for doing their best at something? For going to work 5 days a week? For getting up in the morning?
Jesus *^_!ing christ. Don’t crap on real heroes like that. Kyle’s an awesome guy, but he has his limits. Trying to bring people down to the same level because of your own limitations is an asshole move in any context.
The word “hero” these days has no meaning. This is the phenomenon that describes Jessica Lynch as a “hero” for doing little more than getting captured.
A hero is someone who does something well beyond the exceptional. They’re someone society is supposed to be able to point to as an example of what we all should be in a perfect set of circumstances.
Don’t the types of people who push this “everyone’s a unique and beautiful snowflake” crap get the fact that everyone, by the very definition of the word, cannot be special?
Very few people have the character traits and strength of will to be heroes, and that’s a good thing. We need heroes who sacrifice themselves for just causes, we also need the plain-old-people who wake up every morning, go to work, come home, and repeat the cycle until they’re dead. Because without these people whose lives are the rule, we wouldn’t be able to distinguish those who are truly the exception.
Want to know what a real hero is? read this.