LZ on News Room

On Tuesday, Nov 15, LZ appeared on CNN’s News Room talking about the recent events at PennState. When asked, “Do we have the wrong idea of what a hero is?” he stated that we have highly unrealistic ideas of what a hero is. He states, “now our heroes that used to appear flawless, well we know what their flaws are.” Speaking in reference to Joe Patterno, he states that far too often people find one flaw or mistake and we “overreact and tear them down completely because we find one thing wrong so now they must be a villain.” I do not know enough about the PennState¬†scandal to really delve into this topic in this post, and I’d actually like to keep my personal beliefs on the subject to myself. However, I do agree with LZ when he states that often times in America there are good people, bad people, and those people who fall somewhere in the middle. He states that most fall in that middle area, and I couldn’t agree less. Just because a person does one bad thing doesn’t make them a bad guy or a villain, but similarly, just because they have done some good things in their life doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a hero or good guy, either.

The person interviewing LZ also stated that perhaps we value the wrong things in our heroes. I completely agree with this statement. I think that far too often we select a “hero” based upon celebrity status, superficial characteristics, etc. I believe that most of us only find heroes in common people doing extraordinary things in situations where catastrophe happens (such as the firefighters in 9/11). What about valuing these types of heroes in every day circumstances… what about the common firefighters, police, etc. What about the people who work 8 hours a day and still find time to volunteer on the weekends at a neighborhood soup kitchen? I feel that when selecting heroes or determining heroic qualities, we need to value the right things and look past the “popularity” of the person. Just because someone is a celebrity or highlighted in the media does not make them a hero, and often the “mundane” characteristics of actual heroes are overlooked.

In his article, referenced in the TV interview, he stated: “Because in the old America, our heroes could be “perfect” — since the public would never find out their flaws. Those kind of stories simply would not be written But in the new America that isn’t possible. With technology and social media and citizen journalism, every rock that used to go unturned is now being flipped, lit and put on TV. Which is why sometimes, I just don’t turn mine on.”

I’ll end this post with a question, and some food for thought… Is ignorance really bliss?

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