Somehow, we've placed sports and Hollywood figures at the pinnacle of achievement and idolatry in this world, and found them to be worthy of every second of media coverage available. No matter how convoluted their lives are, kids long to emulate them as they grab the spotlight on Monday night, making the long run for the winning touchdown, hitting the game winning home run, or walking the red carpet at the Oscars.
Yet, the real heroes of this world are not playing sports. They don't make millions in salary and don't endorse designer clothes. They have to fight to get a decent raise in salary, fight for medical coverage following injuries sustained in the line of duty, work twenty or more years for a retirement persion, are often disabled and can't work within the first few years of their career.
These are the real hereoes of our society. Our armed forces, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS and first responders. They work for low pay in many cases and lay their lives on the line every day. The media doesn't arrive in time, nor take time to show them rushing into burning buildings to rescue a child or an elderly or handicapped person, nor are they there to see the split second decisions made by a police officer under fire. Yet they will second guess that officer over and over again, about whether he made the right decision to fire his weapon, even though they were never there.
Our military stands between us and oppression, tyranny and a world that would take away our freedom. Those of us who served to keep America free know firsthand what lies on the other side of that thin line of defense. Unfortunately, most don't have a clue, nor do they take the time to acknowledge the selfless acts of the men and women, who defend them and their way of living each and every day.
Sports are an important part of society and it's certainly not wrong to look up to a quality, clean living sports figure. But remember who the real heroes are. Running down the field against a group of men on Sunday afternoon in Chicago doesn't make you near the hero as running across a road with your men under fire in Baghdad to save a life of a fellow Marine or soldier, or maybe just to get to the other side to save all your lives.