JANUARY 10, 2013 2:43AM

Of Fallen Heroes and Remembering the Good

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It hasn't been a great time for heroes in the news lately, if no one of course is a hero to everyone.

Like they used to say, at least the butler knows feet touch the ground.

And yet we seem to need heroes too, maybe because when we are children, our parents have to make heroic efforts, at least enough, so that we don't freeze or starve to death.

Maybe that too is why there is this seemingly universal need to believe in mere mortals being something more, and at the same time our conflicted feelings about that, like with our parents as we become adults at least a little bit, and the sense of betrayal too, the latter usually having a childish, if so very human nature.

Take the Baseball Hall of Fame vote, or lack of one, because the players involved have a taint, like some will say with Lance Armstrong.

It was funny watching Pete Rose talk about that Hall of Fame vote, to some finally admitting that he made the choices that led to all that, some maybe wanting to make some snide remark, if that's not what occurred to me.

What occurred to me instead is something my grandfather gave me as a plaque as a boy, appropriately an anonymous poem, titled Your Name.

You got it from your father,
It was all he had to give,
So its yours to use and cherish,
For as long as you may live.
If you loose the watch he gave you,
It can always be replaced,
But a black mark on your name son,
Can never be erased.
It was clean the day you took it,
And a worthy name to bare,
When he got it from his father,
There was no dishoner there.
So be sure you guard it wisely,
After all is said and done,
You'll be glad the name is spotless,
When you give it to your son.

That's true, and yet we are mortal, we all sin too, leading to the question of what are fit punishments, and when to forgive.

People who are public figures do what they do, easier to spot their black marks in life, and so therefore easier to kick when they inevitably fail, if a big part of us doesn't want that to be true, probably again because our parents were Santa Claus, presents or not, and yet no parent can, or should, be everything their child wants.

That's not how life works, some say because of Original Sin, if then some say as to forgiving and mainly remembering the good, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you," if that's what God does in His Way, not necessarily what human beings do, and for good reasons sometimes, and sometimes for not so good reasons, or both.

Take the much mocked modern version of being beaten in public pennance, an appearance on Oprah.

It's easy to mock, as it seems to have a stereotyped quality to that, tears etc... and yet as a human being, only the most sociopathic truly feel no remorse for the evil they have done, and in fact many, especially as they get older, have deeper and deeper regrets about some things they did that they wish they could fix, and yet cannot in the nature of things do that, knowing full well that among the most savage punishments of all is merely the truth of an anonymous poem, in this world, if not the next.

You got it from your father,
It was all he had to give,
So its yours to use and cherish,
For as long as you may live.
If you loose the watch he gave you,
It can always be replaced,
But a black mark on your name son,
Can never be erased.
It was clean the day you took it,
And a worthy name to bare,
When he got it from his father,
There was no dishoner there.
So be sure you guard it wisely,
After all is said and done,
You'll be glad the name is spotless,
When you give it to your son.

Damaging your reputation is always a harsh punishment, whether you ever admit that in the mirror or not.

Most people who have had public failings understand that they can't change that completely, always an aesterisk, a little dent, if that's a reason if somone does good things for long enough,and totally accepts what they have done, and then just waits, even mere mortals often see why to forgive, some because they know this, and know that God always knows what is in our heart, whether we like that or admit that or not:

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mk. 4.24
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. Mk. 4.24
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

And yet that's not how life works here, hence the value of your reputation, if something to remember about remembering some good in fallen heroes, if we have to deter the bad too, and therefore sometimes quite brutally punish, as to loss of a name previously so valued, so bad doesn't rule here.

finis


 

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You have such a religious bent/inclination/predisposition Donny, it's remarkable. I've been a genuine atheist since the age of 13, but I enjoy religious/spiritual discourse as an intellectual exercise. Evil entered the world before The Fall and Original Sin. See Hieronymous Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights for the ultimate nihilistic vision...wink
Bosch was inspired by something.