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Allison and George R.

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People often ask us why we need heroes. Here goes:.

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These archetypes reflect common experiences that all humans and their ancestors have shared over millions of years of evolution, and the main purpose of these archetypes is to prepare us for these common experiences. Two such archetypes, according to Jung, are heroes and demons. Humans appear to be innately prepared for certain people and tasks, and we believe this may include encounters with heroes. Heroes reveal our missing qualities — Heroes educate us about right and wrong. It is during our youth that we most need good, healthy adult role models who demonstrate exemplary behavior.

Heroes, Heroines, Role Models, and Mentors

But adults need heroic models as well. Heroes reveal to us the kinds of qualities we need to be in communion with others. We are moved by stories of magical beings with superhuman powers who can instantly remove danger and make everything right. Failed relationships, failed businesses, and health problems are common life experiences for us. Heroes give us hope — Independent of our own personal well-being, we cannot help but recognize that the world is generally a troubled place rife with warfare, poverty, famine, and unrest.

Heroes are beacons of light amidst this vast darkness. Heroes prove to us that no matter how much suffering there is in the world, there are supremely good people around whom we can count on to do the right thing, even when most other people are not. Heroes bring light into a dark world. Just the simple act of reminding people of their mortality leads them to exaggerate whatever moral tendencies they already have. For example, studies have shown that reminders of death lead people to reward do-gooders and punish bad-doers more than they normally would.

Heroes: What They Do & Why We Need Them

Just thinking about the fragility of life can lead us to need and to value heroes. Heroes provide dramatic, entertaining stories — Psychologists have long been aware of the power of a good, juicy narrative. Stories of heroes and heroic myth have entertained humans since the dawn of recorded history. Joseph Campbell documented recurring patterns in these hero stories in his seminal book, and virtually all hero stories feature these time-honored patterns.

People have always been drawn to human drama and they always will be. Jonas Salk developed the first polio vaccine.

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George Washington Carver introduced crop rotation into agriculture. Stephanie Kwolek invented the material in bullet-proof vests that have saved the lives of countless law enforcement officers. Heroes give us wisdom and save lives with their brains, not just with their brawn. Heroes deliver justice — People from all cultures possess a strong desire for justice. After members of the Boston police captured the Boston Marathon bomber, crowds of citizens lined the streets to applaud their heroes. Research has shown that we need to believe that we live in a just world where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.

Heroes quench our thirst for fairness and lawfulness. In a refreshing departure from today's celebrity worship cultivated by reality television, tabloid photos, and celebrity twittering, award-winning novelist W.

On Admiration: Heroes, Heroines, Role Models, and Mentors

Writers, singers, presidents, athletes, cartoonists, artists, activists, and many more are examined here-from Henry David Thoreau to Willa Cather to Albert Camus to Dwight D. Eisenhower to Winston Churchill to Beverly Sills-in this humorous, insightful memoir that speaks powerfully about the state of fame, celebrity culture, and honest admiration. Wetherell skillfully reminds us of the magic and mystery that comes with slow discovery-of that first awareness of those figures who awoke something within us, that inspired us as children, teenagers, and adults-forever altering the landscape of ourselves.

From visiting Herman Melville's study where Melville wrote Moby Dick to being a Rangers fan living in NYC-Wetherell examines the meaning of the American cultural landscape-and its remnants-in a candid and personal memoir like no other before him. Seller Inventory BZV Book Description Skyhorse Publishing, Never used!.

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Heroes: What They Do & Why We Need Them

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