Monday, June 30, 2008
Take a look at a true hero
The term "hero" is used too very loosely these days. For example: I'm sure you saw the story about the Boy Scouts who died in a recent tornado in Iowa. The day after the young men died, an emergency-response official said on NBC's Today Show, "These boys were heroes." When did being in the wrong place at the wrong time make someone a hero.
Now, lest you think I'm being cold and/or callous, I mourn the death of those Boy Scouts. Were they exemplary young men? Yes. Can we find inspiration from them? Yes. Did they die too young? Of course they ****in' did. But simply dying young while sleeping in a tent does not automatically confer upon someone the title of "hero." I'm sorry, but it's true.
Now let me tell you about a true hero ...
Right now, the person I admire most in this world is Morgan Tsvangirai. "Who's he?" you ask. Well, he's the guy who's stood in opposition to Robert Mugabe's quasi-dictatorship in the African nation of Zimbabwe for the past decade. Last month, his political party won a majority of the seats in Zimbabwe's parliament, and he won a plurality of votes in the presidential election. He announced that he would participate in a run-off election, and dozens of his followers were jailed and beaten by government authorities, and several were killed. Tsvangirai was forced to first flee his country, and upon his return he had to seek refuge in the Danish embassy.
Over the years, Morgan Tsvangirai has been jailed by the Zimbabwean government and beaten to a bloody pulp by pro-Mugabe goons. He's also endured painful and humiliating torture, and he's escaped numerous assassination attempts. But Mr. Tsvangirai has never once threatened to give up his effort to secure a democratic future for Zimbabwe. Before all is said and done (in large part due to Mr. Tsvangirai's heroic efforts), Zimbabwe might very well become a representative democracy one of these days ... and I just might shed a congratulatory tear for Mr. Morgan T. when it does.
Next time you wanna confer the title of "hero" upon someone, you need to ask yourself: "How does he/she measure up to one Morgan Tsvangirai?" Yeah, that's what you'll need to ask yourself.