The Best Among Us

You don’t need to be a masked crimefighter to be a hero in Gotham. Three men were killed shielding their girlfriends from a  coward’s bullets at the early Friday morning premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo. Their stories are recounted here in this New York Daily News story. They apparently weren’t the only ones who used their bodies to shield others, according to this CNN story.

There will not be a single mention of the shooter’s name in this space, since that’s what she would want.

Joseph Campbell – who wrote extensively about the power of mythology, including the well known “The Power of Myth” – defined a hero as “someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” No doubt those guys did on Friday night.

I’ve witnessed more than my fair share of dramatic acts of heroism in war over the past 10 years, but that seminal moment may never come for many people – a loved one to shield from gunfire, a child to save from drowning, a stranger to pull from a car wreck.

However, I’ve always believed that ordinary people can be heroes through seemingly unremarkable actions throughout the course of a day – mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn, sheltering a young mother and her toddlers from the rain, asking the simple question: “You alright?” This stuff doesn’t get you a profile in the local paper, but it does earn you a little respect.

“Dark Knight” is already taken. So is “Wonder Woman.” How about another label? Good father, son, brother, uncle, mother, daughter, aunt or neighbor comes to mind. Just some food for thought as we consider those in Aurora, most of them in their 20s, the best among us.

I just wish I could have Hans Zimmer write a score for my life like this.

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About Chairman Mao

I like fomenting socialist revolutions and purging my homeland of pseudo-intellectualism and capitalist dogma. I also like sports, dogs and food (although I wouldn't consider myself a foodie).
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