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Nshima & Curry
Nshima & Curry
WE NEED TO APPRECIATE REAL HEROES
Following his recent death, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio,
the great baseball player, was portrayed by the
media and others as a true American hero.
Some people took exception to this, wondering
what's so heroic about hitting a baseball, running
the bases, and celebrating like you just won a
date with Marilyn Monroe.
Of course, they forgot that playing baseball
involves a lot more than that. Baseball players,
especially those today, face a number of
challenges and hardships. For example:
---They have to constantly worry, even while
they're playing and sleeping, where they're
going to store all their luxury cars. It's easy to
run out of garage space after the tenth Mercedes.
---They often have to go through entire innings,
even on hot, summer days, without scratching
themselves. And some of them go through entire
games without spitting.
---Almost every day, regardless of how big they
are, they're expected to squeeze into pants that
are way too tight.
---Hordes of strangers pester them for
autographs, and many of these people have the
audacity to forget to bring cash.
---So many women flirt with them, they often have
trouble deciding whom to take home.
I can't say whether Joltin' Joe deserved his hero
status. I know so little about his life outside
baseball, except that he convinced Marilyn Monroe,
the sex symbol of the 1950s, to marry him, quite a
feat in itself.
But I do know this: athletic achievements alone do
not make a hero. A hero, in my book, is someone
courageous or noble, someone who makes
sacrifices for others -- aside from wearing tight
We have heroes all around us, but we rarely honor
them. We're too busy idolizing the athletes, actors
and musicians who entertain us.
Most police officers are heroes, regardless of how
many speeding tickets they give us. They protect
us from a host of villains, including robbers,
murderers, drug dealers, kidnappers, and the cast
of Different Strokes.
Without them, we'd all need security systems at
home. And all our children, not just a select few,
would need to carry guns.
Most people in the military are heroes and so are
our veterans. We owe our freedom to them. They
fought in wars and risked their lives, just so you
and I could have the freedom to call the president
anything we want.
Volunteers are heroes, too, especially those who
volunteer to serve the poor. Mother Teresa was
one of the biggest heroes we'll ever see. And
thousands of people, including her friends, forgot
to ask for her autograph.
Nelson Mandela is a huge hero. He spent more
than two decades in prison for his beliefs. And
unlike Mike Tyson, he didn't break a single
Most teachers are heroes, too, partly because
they spend their lives educating others. If it
weren't for teachers, our children wouldn't be
bright enough to read the directions on their video
We ought to give awards to these people on
national TV, like we give Oscars to actors and
Grammys to musicians. We ought to give them
standing ovations. We ought to tell them that they
are our real heroes.