If your heroes are celebrities or historical figures, also include whether you personally know (as a friend or just a bystander) anyone you consider a hero.
I realized recently that, while there are people I look up to for any number of reasons, there is not a single person I know who I want to actually model myself after. I know not one person who lives according to the values I believe are important. I would not call anyone my "hero." (If this is your definition of "role model," then feel free to use that term as well. I'm not sure if everyone thinks of role models as people they would actually model themselves after or just as people with some admirable characteristics.)
I can speculate as to why it is that I don't have any real life heroes, but I don't honestly know. I wonder how common it is. Is it universally true? Is it that every person has a unique ideal image?
The philospher Epicurus. From what I have been reading, I perceive him as a twin mind, as if he and I are birds of a feather. I could imagine him as the right partner to share my life with, unfortunately, he lived 2300 years too early.
:/ I know how you feel, I have never had an adult -or anyone- in my life that I've really loved or even looked up to. I am too unique in both good and bad ways for there to be someone I could call a role-model. I am one of a kind, and it's lonely.
But it seems we have a least a few things in common, so I'll support you with what I have, it's not much but I hope the thought counts. : >
I think that people should not need heroes. The term "Hero" indicates that the person you consider a hero is much more than human, which he is not. The term hero also indicates some level of worship from your side, which is not good, because no amount of worship is good worship. But then I would call it "a source of inspiration" instead of "hero" or "role model". Hitchens is one of my sources of inspiration, because of his rhetorical skills, his excellent way of writing, his wit, his lovable character, his way of not caring about other people opinion of him and his amount of knowledge. I also have Dawkins as an inspiration for his love for biology, evolution, his Anti Religious persona, his Anti Theistic arguments and his lovable character. And then we have Carl Sagan, and you all probably get why. His character sends out some sort of warm feeling that makes me love life even more. He is one of the main reasons I started to love the idea of evolution and he also increased my fascination of science. But everyone has some flaws, so if you model yourself after another person, you may not see the flaws clearly and you make blindly listen to his words and then you may gain his more negative attributes.
So basically no one should model themselves after another person, because then you will not be authentic. You should create your own characteristics, but you could get some inspiration from other people. Also Fidel Castro and Che Guevara has increased my love for Cuba and a lot of other things too.
I mostly agree. I've looked up to several people in my life, but my opinion of them has not held fast through the years. However, the people I've looked down upon have treaded a pretty steady course.
Hero worship is very akin to lust/love relationships, it's an infatuation, an emotion based on a moment more than on reason. People in love (or in hero worship) tend to disregard character faults (relative to each and every one of us as they may be) in whom we love/admire, yet accuse a mere human of such behaviours. Love/adulation/worship are all included in the same 'willful blindness' phenomenon IMO.
Through the years, I've developed my own personal template of what I value in any human
-lack of impact on the planet and fellow humans
-willingness to fight those who do impact the planet and fellow humans.
Because overall, our humanity's impact, as I assess it qualitatively, not quantitatively, as do seeming a majority of atheists, has been a negative one. Overpopulation is due to modern amenities such as medicine and technology, not the lack of. Pollution, depression, poverty, cancers, all are results from a transhumanist (camouflaged as many religions) world view which desires more humans, and longer lived humans. This is not good for our true happiness.
Hero worship throughout history has generally favoured violence and destruction, others find more benign heroes such as Ghandi... but what impact did Ghandi really have in the end? none really. Is India a better country today than it was under British rule? I don't think so.