Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So You Want To Be a Hero?

So you think you want to be a hero, eh? Next time the massacre happens in the dark crowded theater - not that anybody actually hopes there'll be a next time, but if it does - you want to be the guy standing there with gun drawn taking out the bad guy. Let's ignore all the obstacles about the likely success of that. Already discussed.

You're the guy who thinks there was a singular lack of heroes in that theater because nobody shot back, or at least charged him and "took him out".  The people who threw themselves over a buddy don't count, I guess. You're going around asking, "Where are all the Flight 93 heroes today?" Well, those Flight 93 guys were all busy,  comfortably home with their families, eating popcorn in front of their TVs, tucking the kids in bed....  Oh, wait a sec. Nope, not them. My bad.

They're all dead!

Yes, of course they're genuine heroes, even though all they had to go against was a few guys with box cutters, in broad daylight, with nobody wearing body armor. Their sacrifice had a chance of accomplishing something, and it did. But they're still dead. D-E-A-D dead. Fragments of dust and charred bits scattered over the forest floor, fading memories to their loved ones, even more remote to us. We will always be grateful to them, but they're still dead. Yes, there are more like them scattered all through our species, and should the need arise again, in a situation where such sacrifice will mean something, there will be new heroes just like them.

They'll wind up just as dead as well. Likely they'll be judged on whether they accomplished anything on the way, rather than just how quickly they threw their lives away.

OK, undaunted, you still want to be the guy who stands up, advances on the gunman, taking a few bullets for yourself to save some from going into your fellow movie-goers, giving them a chance to escape or at least lessen their harm. Unspoken (or perhaps not) is the thought that you would be modeling your Christian faith, laying down your life for another, one of those "greater love hath no man" things.

Oh, how noble!

Oh, how unselfish!

Oh, how incredibly stupid!

But hey, who am I to stop you? Boy, you go for it, if that's what you're determined you need to do the next time that situation rears its ugly little head. It won't accomplish anything, if the circumstances are the same, but if you insist....
And let me be the first to nominate you for the next presentation of the Darwin Awards! Such actions should not go unnoticed.

Uh, you do qualify for the award, do you not? I mean, you haven't spread your genes into the gene pool yet, have you? Because if you didn't qualify, it would be such a shame.

On both counts.

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