The age of small time heroes

Years ago when I was still a young lad, in search of heroes to admire, it occurred to me that there truly are no great statesmen anymore. Im not talking about popular statesmen. Im talking about great statesmen. There is a difference. Great statesmen are men who have achieved something. Not only in the monuments of their deeds, but also in the purity of the metal that is found in the crucible of their character.


There once were men and women who could inspire millions. Who could capture the hearts and the imaginations of nations. Men who and women who could conceive of a dream, and could sell that dream to the world. They were men of brave deeds, who acted with valour in moments of desperation. But then, many of the vagabonds of history were admirably skilled in doing the same. I am talking of a different kind of hero, though. The kind of heroes that I have in mind were men and women who had the wisdom and purity of heart to select a true and righteous cause. And then to pursue that cause even against popular will and sentiment. The principles they believed in were not counterfeit values. They were noble, pure and practical. And they were able to defend what they believed in, and convince others to join in their effort. These were never perfect men. But they were sincere. And sincerity is what made them not only admired but loved. These are the rarest heroes of all. The giants of history whose footprints have faded in the sands of time before they reached our own generation.


And so I ask myself will there ever be a time when the giants of history will live again? For a long time I searched above the heads of society in the hope of seeing a giant in my own time. But I found none. Until one day when, saddened by the extinction of the giants among men, I lowered by gaze. And there I discovered something I had not believed to exist anymore. There, crouching at my feet where I least expected to ever find them, I saw small figures. Ordinary men and ordinary women who performed small but noble deeds. They did not move armies to victory in battle, or nations to greatness in an empire. But they sacrificed themselves for the good of others. They gave their hearts when others had none. They surrendered their freedom so that others too, might live. It was then that I realized that although the giants were gone, the time of heroes had never truly passed. The true heroes were still there. I had just been looking at the wrong place. We are just living in the age of small time heroes now.