This thing about being a hero, about the main thing to it is to know when to die. Prolonged life has ruined more men than it ever made.
Will Rogers July 1928
I have been avoiding one of my heroes of late and that is a shame. Will Rogers has as much to teach us in the 21st century as he did almost a hundred years ago.
I’m not much of a sports guy but from what I can get from it there are too many heroes that just don’t know when to hang up their cleats or whatever they use. They are really great at doing that one thing but then when their abilities wain many just seem hang on. I know that Green Bay quarterback was a recent example. He just didn’t know when to take his millions and retire to something else.
Mark Twain was another guy that didn’t know how to exit stage left as old show people used to say. He wrote some books that were pretty famous (I didn’t personally care for them but so what), then as he got older he became extremely cynical about almost everything. It ruined his persona as a literary hero to many.
I never really did much in my life to gain much attention. I helped invent the Trimline telephone and worked on several other things in that area but all have long since disappeared. I built quite a few painted country cabinets that are family heirlooms to those who bought them but that is a pretty limited crowd and of course I have been blogging for seven years now. I don’t have much of a legacy to tarnish in my old age. So I can think and say pretty much whatever I want on RJsCorner and nothing much is damaged.
I know some of my heroes are tarnished by their actions. Cosby is one of the more recent ones. I didn’t get married until I was almost 40 years of age and I used to say that everything I knew about marriage I learned from Cosby. Of course I don’t say that anymore as it has now taken on a completely different persona. Instead of being on my hero list Cosby is not occupying the black list.
Another hero was Henry Ford, he practically invented the middle class in America by paying his employees their share of the gains they produced. Without him and the processes he invented the 1950s and 60s would have been quite different place from the one I grew up in. But then their is his racist stands in life. Every hero seems to have a dark side.
In some ways its kind of nice to not to have to live up to a hero status. No one expects much from me, an unknown old and deaf guy so I don’t have much of an ability to disappoint anyone. I can pretty much say whatever I want and it doesn’t matter much. But I like to think that I am of my hero Will Rogers genre. I try to always treat everyone one with the respect they deserve. Even here on RJ’sCorner…