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Thread: Mom and dad were heroes

  1. #1 Mom and dad were heroes 
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    Mom and dad were heroes

    I was born in 1934 during the Great Depression. Dad drove a city bus in Amarillo Texas. My family moved to a very small town in Oklahoma before my first birthday; I had four siblings at the time we moved from Texas to Oklahoma to manage a small café and hotel that was then being managed by my uncle who wished to return to farming.

    During the next 15 years my family managed that café and hotel. The building and the business was owned by an absentee landlord, Mr. Ruttzel. The operation was a 24/7 job that took the total energies of all members of the family as each of us became old enough to work.

    This operation allowed my parents to raise a large family in reasonably comfortable conditions throughout the depression and war years of World War II.

    What is the meaning of ‘hero’? I have taken one definition from the dictionary and have modified it to represent my comprehension of this concept of ‘heroic’. Heroic is a concept meaning a “determined effort [directed to achieve good or deter evil] in the face of difficulty”. In this definition I define ‘good’ as being that which promotes human life and ‘evil’ as that which promotes human death.

    I think that there are degrees of heroic action. Some heroes are greater than others depending upon the circumstances of their action. To be a hero often requires courage and often causes personal hardship.

    On a scale of one to ten I would classify the following people as heroes in most people’s judgment:
    Mother Theresa (10)
    Police and firemen entering the burning buildings in 9/11 attack (8 to 10)
    My mom and dad (7)
    Men and women fighting in Iraq: our side (5 to 10) their side (?)
    Youngster really trying to make good grades in school (7)

    The psychologist Alfred Adler said: “The supreme law [of life] is this: the sense of worth of the self shall not be allowed to be diminished.”

    Heroic actions are our means for maintaining our self esteem. Without heroic action we cannot maintain our own self-esteem. Self-esteem is self-respect. We judge our self as to the degree of worthiness for respect. We rely partially upon the judgment of others but that respect from others is filtered by our own judgments to how heroic our actions are.

    It appears that we must feel self-esteem or we suffer mental illness of one degree or another. I gain self-esteem by reading lots of stuff, writing about that stuff, and posting that stuff on this forum, i.e. I am a self-actualizing self-learner (6).

    What do you do for self-esteem?


    What do you call a formal dance for ducks?

    A fowl ball.


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    I don't think my parents are heroes, nor do I believe I am for roughly the same reasons. I never asked to be born so raising a child should be more along the lines of a shared responsibility, a given. No medals for doing what you should have done or if you're doing your job. Soldiers, firemen, police officers are not heroes but people who have chosen potentially dangerous occupations knowing full well the risks.

    So I guess I need a definition for hero. I can only think of one and that would be anyone who rights a wrong by giving freely of themselves in the belief that it benefits all of us, in other words volunteers. Volunteerism can range from charity worker to championing a cause for human rights.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos
    I don't think my parents are heroes, nor do I believe I am for roughly the same reasons. I never asked to be born so raising a child should be more along the lines of a shared responsibility, a given. No medals for doing what you should have done or if you're doing your job. Soldiers, firemen, police officers are not heroes but people who have chosen potentially dangerous occupations knowing full well the risks.

    So I guess I need a definition for hero. I can only think of one and that would be anyone who rights a wrong by giving freely of themselves in the belief that it benefits all of us, in other words volunteers. Volunteerism can range from charity worker to championing a cause for human rights.
    One reason that I posted this was because I wanted to introduce a word that is so very important to the sciences of psychology and psychoanalysis.

    All that I have read about these two sciences indicate that what are called heroic acts are those acts that reinforce our self-esteem and with out self-esteem we were are pitiful creatures.

    We have many words in the language that have both a common usage and also have a technical usage. The word ‘hero' is one such word. I have been studying psychology and psychoanalysis for the last many months and these domains of knowledge use the word 'hero' in a technical manner.

    One of the difficulties we always have when we try to learn a domain of knowledge that is new to us is learning the vocabulary. The OP reflects how this word is used in these sciences.
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  5. #4  
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    Perhaps heroes are those with the fewest internal consistencies in their thought processes. Heroes tend to be those that others aspire to emulate. Internal consistency is important for this.

    Self esteem arises from making considered choices, rather than living without thinking about one's effect on others and the environment.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Perhaps heroes are those with the fewest internal consistencies in their thought processes. Heroes tend to be those that others aspire to emulate. Internal consistency is important for this.

    Self esteem arises from making considered choices, rather than living without thinking about one's effect on others and the environment.
    Exactly, it is the day to day things that we do wherein we feel good about our self and others feel equally good about us. The problems develop when we are hit with difficulties that we cannot handle.
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  7. #6  
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    McMansions equals heroic action for American citizens.


    "We're not selling shelter," says the president of Toll Brothers, a builder of upscale homes. "We're selling extreme-ego, look-at-me types of homes." In 2000, Toll Brothers' most popular home was 3,200 square feet; by 2005, it had grown 50 percent, to 4,800 square feet. These "McMansions" often feature marble floors, sweeping staircases, vaulted ceilings, family rooms, studies, home entertainment centers and more bedrooms than people.
    'House Lust' Hits Home Article from Washington Post Jan 2, 2008
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  8. #7  
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    Quotation from “The Birth and Death of Meaning” by Ernest Becker.

    “Anthony Quinn in his great role in “Requiem for a Heavyweight” earned his inner sense of self-value by constantly reminding himself and others that he was “fifth-ranking contender for the heavyweight crown”. This made him really somebody, gave him continual nourishment, allowed him to hold his head high in the shabbiest circumstances. Academic intellectuals have their own fine gradations of worth: a six-hour teaching load, with no under-graduate teaching, in an ivy-league school; a three hour teaching load, with only one undergraduate course, in an almost ivy-league school. How these balance in the scale of self-worth can cause agonizing life decisions.”
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  9. #8  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Heroes are created by others to justify their own lack of self worth.
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  10. #9 true heroes defined 
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    Throughout my adolescence, my parents always made me feel safe. I didn't ask to be born and I didn't ask to feel safe. On the contrary, my parents have not asked anything of me in return.

    well... ok - they do want me to stop by for Christmas dinner.
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