How our heroes change

Chloe Winn, Staff Writer

Admit it, you were a pretty shallow kid; we all were. Unfortunately, some of us still are. As young children a lot of us valued much different things than we do now.
A prime example is who we looked up to, people we thought were heroes. Not the ones in capes, but the ones you wanted to grow up and be like.
Despite what we’d like to believe, we valued–and some still do value–beauty, strength, athletic ability, and talent. Some of us just picked the same hero as our friend, so we would be more alike, me included.
In kindergarten, the class made a book about what we wanted to be when we grew up. My best friend had said cheerleader, so being the young, naive child I was, I said the same thing. Looking back at this, I laugh because now I have absolutely no desire to be a cheerleader.
A few years later we start to admire athletes who play the same sport as us, actors, or maybe musicians. As we were exposed to new content and understanding, our opinions and values shifted.
Looking back at these qualities we once admired, it’s hard not to compare them to our values today. Today, we hope to value attributes such as, brains, resilience, courage, or morality. Now, a lot of us are more cognizant of the attributes of our newfound heroes. Yet, some of us still value physical appearances over substance. They look up to the pretty, strong, and athletic role models, not the ones who took a stood for what they believed in or persevered through adversity.
Instead of looking at the physical characteristics and abilities of people, we should look at their actions and their motivations. We are not completely rid of our shallowness, but hopefully we will try to avoid that character trait.
For me, I always looked up to Brazilian soccer legend Pelé, women’s national soccer team player Mia Hamm, and Martin Luther King Jr. No, I didn’t evade that shallowness that accompanies the youth. The sole reason I liked King at the time was because he was famous and shared my birthday.
I dedicated multiple school projects to those three and read their biographies. As I delved deeper into their lives I began to admire different qualities than I had before. Instead of physical attributes and similarities between them and myself, I saw perseverance, determination, and strength of mind.
As we grow in age, we grow as people, and our heroes should change as well as our values.