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Frank R Tymon

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They Can Keep No Better Company
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They Can Keep No Better Company
by Frank R Tymon   

Last edited: Saturday, December 28, 2002
Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2002

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Ad Astra per Aspera -- to the stars through difficulty.
And with the company of heroes, so shall your children rise.
Give your boys heroes. Give your girls heroines. They can keep no better company.

They Can Keep No Better Company
By Frank R Tymon
Children need heroes. Parents must provide, in an honest manner, heroes for their admiration, and respect, and models. THEY CAN KEEP NO BETTER COMPANY

(An extract from the author's book, "Name Your Child for Success" )

Heroes For Our Children

Give your boy heroes. Give your girl heroines. They can keep no better company.

Over the past years there has been an almost continuous attempt to remove our heroes from their pedestals. Washington, our first President, has been denigrated by calumny of varied sorts. Lincoln has been downgraded by many to being only a plodding country lawyer. Davy Crockett, it has been suggested, donned woman's clothes and tried to sneak out of the Alamo. Our men who fought so bravely in Vietnam were labeled baby killers. Those who fought against the spread of communism in Latin America were deemed criminals. Martin Luther King, jr. is accused of plagiarizing from the writings of others to obtain his Doctorate degree.
What are heroes? Heroes are individuals who have performed deeds of daring, deeds of which we can be proud. And heroes are human. Yes, even heroes have feet of clay. Was Benjamin Franklin a womanizer? Probably. Did Washington have one of his woman servants stripped and whipped? There is some evidence to that effect.
Have all heroes before or since been perfect? Hardly.
We honor our heroes, not for their feet of clay, not for the deeds which they would prefer were never known. We honor them for the heroic deeds they did, the heroic deeds by which they rose above their baser actions.
Whatever else Washington did, he was rightfully the father of our country. He was a brave commander, a good President. For these things we honor him. We do not deny his faults, but we do not honor him for them.
We honor Benjamin Franklin for the good he did. We honor him for his insight, his writings, his astuteness. We do not deny his dalliances, nor do we honor him for these.
We honor Abraham Lincoln for the humanity he brought into the presidency. We honor him for the ability to rise above family problems, to rise above hate and bigotry. A country lawyer? Yes, but a great and admirable President.
We honor Martin Luther King, jr. for the good he accomplished, for the courage he displayed. The fact that he was a man; that he, like others, had the weaknesses common to all mankind; these do not detract from his accomplishments.
Davy Crockett may indeed have attempted to escape from the Alamo in woman's clothing. Would he had succeeded! What wild stories he would have told of the event! But we don't concern ourselves with this tale. We concern ourselves with the fact that he didn't have to be at the Alamo. He volunteered. He volunteered because he believed that the Alamo was where he should be. He led his people into a fight where the odds were almost insurmountable, and he fought long and well, and died with the other defenders of the Alamo. For this we honor Davy Crockett.
Your child needs heroes. Heroes who, at least on one occasion in their lives, stood tall and brave above those around them. Nor should the fact that they, too, had their human weaknesses be denied. For it is not heroic to act the hero if you have no weaknesses. It is heroic to rise above those weaknesses and do the job that must be done. It is heroic to be a Martin Luther King, jr., a Davy Crockett, a Washington, a Franklin, or a Lincoln. It is heroic to wear the mantle of a hero proudly and well, and to perform the deeds required, in spite of your weaknesses. That these men did. It can never be taken away from them. And your youngster must realize the true meaning of heroism, so that no one can take away the awe and wonder the child feels at the deeds of men such as these.
Amelia Earhardt flew where no one had ever flown. At a time when flight was most dangerous, when the airplanes were most experimental, she flew with the best of pilots.
In space there is little forgiveness for error. Those who go into space know the chances they take. Christa McAuliffe did not need to be there. She knew that she might not return. She rose above her fears, died on the Challenger, and has joined our legends.
Why am I dwelling on this theme?
Simply put, because there seems to be a concerted effort to denigrate our heroes. Muckrakers of yesteryear highlighted the faults of early industry, and there were many. So such muckraking resulted in laws and regulations that corrected many of the problems.
Disparagement of our heroes has no such aim. It is used, seemingly, with the intent to have us believe that heroism did not, has not, and does not exist.
They are wrong. The fact that heroes have weaknesses, severe weaknesses does not detract from their deeds. Rather, it highlights the effort and dedication it took to perform heroic deeds.
A superman can hardly be a hero.
It is the average - or even below average - person who rises to the heights of heroism by doing deeds far above his capacity. These are the heroes
In World War II there were men like Ira Hayes, raising the American flag in the midst of battle, on Mt. Suribaki. Yes, he returned home to fall victim to alcohol. But he was a hero. It should not be forgotten.
Ernie Pyle, a man who didn't have to be there, died on a little island in the Pacific. A writer, he went with the average GI, wrote of his problems, his battles, his losses and successes. A man, doing his job, he was there with the troops, quietly doing his part.
Today the Ernie Pyle type of journalism is no longer in style. It lacks the excitement, the glitziness required by the media.
But there are many heroes, many forms of heroics. Some are recognized. Others occur quietly, repetitively, every day, around us, unrecognized, unpraised.
You see them, but often do not recognize them. The policeman, quietly doing his normal chores. An ordinary man, waving traffic through a dead traffic light. Or selling a ticket for the policemen's ball.
Except, when things fall apart, and a community goes mad they are the dam that keeps the swirling gangs away from you and your family. When gangs shoot up the city streets you count on them to move out and disarm these psychotics.
Quiet men doing their quiet, ordinary chores from day to day. But standing in the breach when your world falls apart.
We need heroes. Not super-entertainers produced by media marketers, sold to a gullible public, and reflecting the lowest depths of morality. Not artificial impossible super athletes that dominate the sophomoric movies.
So give your children the Earhardts, the McAuliffes, the Ira Hayes's. Yes, and even the Washingtons, the Davy Crocketts, and the Ernie Pyles.
Give your boy heroes. Give your girl heroines. They can keep no better company.

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