Folk Heroes versus Modern Role Models

Folk Heroes versus Modern Role Models

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There are six different qualities of folk heroes. Three are self-sacrifice, the willingness to go on a search for something of value, and someone who is willing to ask for help from others. Therefore, we need to examine our modern role models of today to see if they have any of these qualities of a folk hero.

The first quality is that a folk hero must show values of his or her culture. A folk hero must be someone who is a good community member who puts the needs of their community above their own needs. In other words, they must be open to self-sacrifice. However, we don’t really see any celebrities or politicians risking for their teams, peers, neighborhood, or country. There is no one famous in the headlines that show that they have strength and are willing to undergo pain without complaint. There don’t seem to be any role models today who are intelligent. We don’t seem to care about personality. Our societal value seems to focus on money and recognition. Thus, our role models should be those who put others before themselves and show that they care for other people.

The second quality of a folk hero is the willingness to leave the familiar in order to quest for something of value. They don’t have to leave their country, but they just need to be open to the unknown, willing to risk it all to attain a worthy goal. They have to be willing to give up money and fame, which is very rare for someone to do in today’s world. In today’s society it seems that only ordinary people are risking their lives and no one hears about them. So, our role models and heroes in the modern world should be those risking their lives for us instead of someone who memorizes lines and then gets paid for it.

The third quality is that a folk hero must be willing to seek help from others either from spiritual or physical mentors. They need to be seeking help from those with knowledge, insight, and wisdom. They cannot be full of themselves thinking they can do everything and know everything. This seems to be the only quality that some of our role models have. Some of our celebrities and politicians do have people that they go to for advice.

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As a result, we need role models who don’t only rely on their own opinions but receive advice from others too.

In conclusion, people need to be thinking about their role models today and if they show any of these qualities of self- sacrifice, being able to search for something of value, and the will to ask others for guidance. We need to improve what we see in the media, for example, our cartoons, movie ads, sports page, and political debates. We need to think about what qualities in a role model we want for our children.
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