Hero worship can be traced to Ancient Greece and it probably existed beyond that time. It’s nothing new and it probably has earned the bad connotation that surrounds it. Extremism in any kind of human expression is undoubtedly wrong. On the other hand, milder forms of such expressions might offer invaluable tools for personal growth and advancement.
Such is the case for Hero Worship. Worship should be reserved to Deities. However, milder forms of admiration for our heroes and role models can be most beneficial; providing it is freely done and not part of an orchestrated indoctrination process.
We need guidance and inspiration. We need to know how exceptional people lived their life, what their values were, what motivated them and, ultimately what results they obtained. Their experiences provide invaluable knowledge and they show the path that has to be followed if we want to obtain similar results.
Another great benefit that the particularity of being attracted to outstanding people provides is an uplifting boost in self-esteem. The same phenomena that is seen when our favorite team wins the game. It makes us feel better about who we are. Their win is also our victory. By associating with our heroes, their status is magically defected to reflect on how we see ourselves.
Admiration for someone creates an emotional bond that could be described as a virtual relationship. In this sense, people that we have never met may be seen as friends or peers. They actually enter the dynamic of our social circle.
That is due to the fact that the subconscious cannot tell the difference between a real or imaginary situation, so it stands to reason that this virtual relationship will be perceived, up to a point, as being real and genuine.
We identify closely with our heroes and they become part of our emotional world. They become the mirrors into which we see part of our self-image and, as time goes by, some minor blending of our images and the hero’s begins to occur.
Thanks to that virtual self and hero relationship, the way that we perceive ourselves begins to change. As it happens, self-confidence will be elevated, and self-esteem heightened. It may be a slow process but it is a very beneficial transformation.
We slowly gravitate and eventually blend into the type of person that we associate with. And that holds true whether that association is physical or virtual. Unconsciously, we adapt some of the traits and characteristics of our peers, real or otherwise.
All the Greats of this world had their heroes. They had someone that they studied and emulated. They all had someone on whose shoulders they stood to reach greater height than had never been attained before. They knew and understood the importance of identification with the masters – they knew it and used it well.
Heroes are not hard to find. They are all around us, in real life or in biographies. They have earned and deserve our respect and admiration. A tribute that, when given, is repaid a thousand fold through heightened self-confidence and self-esteem.
In the eyes of certain people, any form of admiration for a fellow human being is demeaning. Something that should be reserved to immature teen-agers. Such a belief can only be spawned by a fragile and immature ego.
Some outstanding people are deserving of respect and admiration. Doing so is not immature. It’s the expression of someone who is big enough and mature enough to see and appreciate someone else’s worth, serene enough to admit it and wise enough to take advantage of it.