We All Want To Be One - I think

hero


“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald…

Comments

  1. I must say I was stumped by that quote.. In fact I googled it... The interpretation I found was that in order for someone to be considered a hero, it means that they have to go thru some tragedy and then find the strength to rise above it... Isn't that what life is? A series of hills and valleys? I have to agree w/the quote, my life up until 2001 was so even- no tragedies to endure.. I would say I am definitely NOT a hero.. I am just someone who learned how to figure things out and not allow myself to get swallowed up... My neighbor's kids learned about loss at such a young age.. They experienced going to funerals when they were 5 yrs. old.. We all learn about death at different times in our lives and they have had their fair share under their belts which I think have made them stronger... I feel, I was sheltered from learning about death until I was 17 and then again at 47...

    ReplyDelete
  2. KBF: I only blog with heroes. As you know, I am a Hemingway and Fitzgerald fan. I spent a great deal of time reading and studying these men. Like them,I am not certain death equates to tragedy. I prefer your interpretation. Tragedy leads to strength.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember reading that quote by Fitzgerald. What's funny is that when I read your post title, I thought you meant, 'we all want to be one (with each other, the universe) I think.'

    Funny the way we parse things.

    And yes, I do believe we all secretly or not so secretly crave heroism. Superman didn't strike a profound chord in the cultural consciousness for nothin'.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Suze: I never write or say anything I don't mean. That's what makes it fun. You are very perceptive, and I love the Superman/social consciousness reference.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @JJ: To people that I know, they considered my husband's death a tragedy... I guess the fact he was taken when he was 50, we were coming full circle in our marriage and I think the fact he was an innocent victim of wrong place, wrong time...The media seems to always coin 'tragedy' w/death.. Maybe because its a more descriptive word to attract the reader?

    ReplyDelete
  6. KBF: You are raising some very interesting points, which could venture into many crevices in the realm of the Humanities.

    In literature, tragedy is commonly defined as a literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. Thus, using heroes with tragic flaws like jealousy and greed, Shakespeare created great tragedies.

    In modern 21st century vernacular, tragedy is used to describe an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress.

    In the posted quotation, Fitzgerald is focused on literature. Of course, since literature reflects life, the two definitions become confusing.

    I come from a large Italian family, whose members frequently sacrifice their own lives mourning the loss of others. I have attended Irish wakes, which turned into festive occasions in celebration of the lives of the deceased. I have discussed the concept of tragedy and death with people who profess deep religious beliefs, including afterlife, but find it impossible to accept the loss of loved ones.

    I certainly do not have all the answers, but I do know one thing for sure - the media has no honorable purpose for their use of the word.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have to agree w/your last line about the media..I just find it surprising that people think that one is a hero if they have gone thru tragedy or have sacrificed... Aren't those two things what we are suppose to experience? Isn't that what the son of God wanted us to learn? after all he went thru it right? So that we can see what we can endure. I think he wanted us to know what he did and not to make us think he was a 'hero'...or am I wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  8. KBF: I am not qualified to opine on religious beliefs. Like Hemingway, I believe that death is inevitable. We cannot beat it, but we can look it in the eye, without fear, and if we survive, we are heroic. If not, we did not yield to it.

    I have done some crazy things in my life, and so far, survived. I have been very happy and have experienced much of what life has to offer. I don't play Russian Roulette with my existence, but I fear very little. For me, it's a good way to live.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It has always seemed very odd to me that in the Christian world, going to Heaven is always the goal, yet when someone actually does that which Christians desire, people cry, and mourn. This has always seemed very selfish to me.

    When Rod's mum died, I admit that I did cry a little, but then I realized that she was exactly where she wanted to be, and that made me happy for her.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Judie: Once again, I cannot really say. Is this a Christian world? Do other religions believe in an afterlife? Obviously, we know the answers, but the point is that in modern human existence, the word "tragedy" is sometimes synonymous with death. In a literary world, it is clearly not. The "tragic flaw" is what we search for when reading a dramatic piece of literature. The tragedy might simply be a fall from grace. For example, if you are a US Senator forced to resign for sending photos of yourself to young women, it is a tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Building on the hero or Superhero theme mentioned earlier, if you dig into all of them they had a rocky road to becoming "super" or "heroic." They all had experienced losses in order to build their character. I think that is when we find out who we are. Anyone can do the right thing when it is easy. Can you keep going when it is hard? Do you make good moral calls when you're bent over with grief? Can you stand outside of yourself and do the best for others? These are the people that we call heroes. It is the ability to rise above. In the case of Superman, he had enough power that he could have ruled the planet with an iron fist and made fear his weapon. It was a moral call for him. Instead, he used his power to protect and serve. Other superheroes have made the same choice. One of the things I like about Smallville is they created story of Clark meeting The Flash before he became The Flash. At the time, he was just a thief. That meet with Clark showed him that he wasn't alone and that his powers could be used for a higher purpose. That became the turning point for him. The only difference between superheroes and regular heroes are the superpowers. Everything else in the equation remains the same. There are heroes out there. I think the only difference between a hero and the other guy is that while they both fall down, the hero won't stay down. That's it. It's simply a matter of getting back up. I suppose I should have said that in the beginning. It would have made for a much shorter comment. It takes me a while to think it through sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Greetings,

    I love the quote! It makes all sense to me. I was named after the Goethe play, Egmont, which happens to be a tragedy about the hero who fought with William of Orange against Phillip of Spain. Unfortunately Egmont was captured and beheaded in 1522.

    Goethe was so taken by Egmont, he wrote a play about him and asked Beethoven to compose the music, which is Op 87.

    In the ending of the 'Trauerspiel' (tragedy), Egmont makes a speech and over the decades I have come to identify with it.

    Having been named after a hero and a German romantic writer/poet, as well as a famous composer is a big deal to live up to.

    Warmest regards,
    Egmont

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, JJ, you've outdone yourself. This post and your last one sparked some deep reflection and debate. Like Suze, I read your title to mean "one" in the woowoo cosmic sense. Even more interesting to go off in a different direction. Having read your book, you certainly qualify as a hero in my book. Would any of us decide in advance to be one? Maybe not, but we respond when called upon by life to step up. As you did.

    ReplyDelete
  14. JJ I have known many heroes in my lifetime and these are people whom I know would never have considered themselves heroes.
    A hero to me is someone whom gives of themselves selflessly, making a personal sacrafice to benefit others in need.
    After contemplating this topic, I think that heros are all around us... They are the nurses that nurture the ill, the firefighters, the police, the paramedics, the soldiers that lay their lives on the line. They are the teachers that go above and beyond the call of duty to aid those children that may be struggling to learn and are falling between the cracks & whom keep the child interested to learn. They are the foster carers that give shelter, love, guidence and support to children in need of a home. They are the scientists that find cures for diseases that cause such sufference to those afflicted. They are the stranger on the street that stops to help another stranger in time of need. They are those people that donate blood and organs to save the lives of others they don't even know. They are those charity groups that help the homeless, donating their time & resources to assist others in need.
    Yes... I believe heros surround us everywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Robin: You understand the concept of the archetypal hero. I love the way you think.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Egmont: I have been following your blog for some time now. I think you have lived up to it very well. You are an inspiration to your readers.

    Galen: Thank you for the compliment. One thing that draws me to Hemingway, like him or not, is adherence in life to an heroic code. I love the ancient concept of being one with Nature.

    Kath: There you go! I would really expect you to come to that conclusion. I know you are quite a selfless person, and in my view, heroic.

    ReplyDelete
  17. The suicide bombers believe in the afterlife when they blow themselves up and kill others in the process. Are they considered heroes by their peers, or are they simply pawns made to believe they are heroes?

    For whom is Weiner's act of stupidity a tragedy, other than himself and his loved ones? Is it a tragedy that we elect these people to public office? Do his shortcomings reflect on us, thus making us part of the tragedy as well?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great one-liner! You know, my favorite hero (he is a hero to me and my children), is my husband who sacrifices so much to work so hard for us (so we have everything we need), then has the great personality to come home cheerful and happy to see us. Like I said, he's is truly a hero to us, but is that a tragedy? Not the way I see it :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

    ReplyDelete
  19. Judie: Only the ignorant can be led blindly. There is nothing heroic in that.

    Weiner is tragic, not stupid, and in my opinion, it reflects upon us as a society.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Miriam: I think he is a hero to us as well. Why would that be tragic? While I do not know him personally, I do attempt to emulate him. Like Katerine said above, it has much to do with self-sacrifice on behalf of others.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Other Works by JJ Botta

My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and numerous Bookstores. Amazon.com AND Barnes and Noble

Mystery

Mystery

Coming Soon!

Coming Soon!