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Reply #54: A hero [View All]

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tkulesa Donating Member (556 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-04-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. A hero
When studying religions you come to the question of karma, and inevitably you get the question, is it the intent or the outcome that counts to determine the effect on your karma?

It's something similar. If you intend to help people that certainly counts towards being a hero. Wanting to help people and trying to help people are worthy of respect whether or not you succed. That's why I can respect people who follow their beliefs even if I strongly oppose their beliefs. But that by itself doesn't make you a hero.

If you actually do help people, regardless of your intent, then that certainly counts too. After all, many heroes didn't think about what they were doing, they just did it. Ideally, a hero has both the intent and the action.

We place a lot of emphasis on overcoming risks, so that's also taken into account when you talk about a hero.

So let's talk about Tillman and Rall...

So Tillman gets a lot of credit for giving up pro-sports to join the military. He gets a lot of credit for intent.

Ted Rall's entire purpose is to inform people, educate people, free people from lies and deliberate political obfuscation. So he also gets a lot of credit for intent.

Tillman doesn't seem to have actually accomplished anything heroic. But that's no fault of his own. So while he might not meet this part of the definition for a hero, I wouldn't criticise him for that. Few of us every really accomplish anything heroic. He was still appartently a good person and deserved respect.

Rall definitely succeeds in helping people. He helps push the center farther to the left simply by insisting that there is a left. He gets the truth out there about political lies and hypocracy. He went into a battle zone to report on the truth so that we could see something other than Fox News. I can't be the only person who has been informed and enlightened by some of his experiences, his research, and his articles. (I actually don't care for his cartoons nearly as much as his articles. But they are very informative too if you read his writing and know what backs up those cartoons.)

Tillman risked his life, and ultimately gave his life for what he believed in.

Rall went to Afganistan, unarmed and without military support, as a journalist reporting on what was really going on. He wasn't one of the embedded shills. He is also the target of a whole lot of hate for his writing and cartoons. So he risks his life and his career too.

So, what is my conclusion? I won't disrepect Tillman. He believed in what he was doing even if I think he was was duped by right. He was acting heroicly, even if I don't think he reached the status of Hero. He was a good man who had the misfortune to believe the right and died for it.

Ted Rall is an everyday hero. He's not a ghandi or a Martin Luther King Jr. But he is struggling day in and day out to get the truth out there despite threats, dangers and risks.

The difference between the two men is that Tillman believed that fighting and killing people could make you right. Rall believes that the people doing the fighting doing wrong, and for the wrong reasons.

This isn't definitive, by any stretch, but you asked for some commentary about what it means to be a hero. This is my $0.02.
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