De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


Who Are Your Heroes, And Why?

Sometime back, one of my Linkster buddies posted this question, which drew a fair number of responses. I didn't "shoot from the hip" with my answer; in fact, I said I'd take my time and post the next day. That night, I came up with my list, to wit:

1. Diogenes: He refused to "go along to get along" and because of that, he was a bit of a social pariah. He spoke his own mind, not what others wanted to hear. One evening, as he squatted in the doorway of his hut, washing lentils for his dinner, one of his nemeses -- Aristippus -- happened by. Aristippus made a very comfortable living hanging around the court and flattering the king. Kings like that, so he was always invited to dinner and given lavish presents. Seeing what Diogenes was doing, Aristippus said rather disdainfully "You know, if you could just learn to flatter the king, you wouldn't have to eat lentils."

Diogenes looked up and smiled. "You know", he said, "if you could just learn to eat lentils, you wouldn't have to flatter the king."

2. Saul of Tarsis: We all know who he became, but what of the whole man? As a Pharisee and a citizen of Rome, Saul saw the early Christian Church as a threat to both Judaism and the Roman Empire. Because of this sincere belief, he set about to eradicate the problem. On the road to Damascus, however, he "saw the light". His encounter with the Savior caused him to completely re-evaluate everything he believed in. And he was strong enough to change when he learned the truth.

3. Martin Luther: He was a very devote Catholic monk who became aware of the abuses that had crept into the church. By posting his 95 theses on the church door at Wittenberg, he literally put his life in jeopardy. But he never backed down. Facing his accusers, he declared "Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nichts anders." (Here I stand. I can do nothing different.) His three accomplishments -- translating the Bible into the language of the people, standardizing the German language, and planting the seed of religious freedom -- have had worldwide consequences. Without him, there might not have been a Restoration.

4. Erwin Rommel: There is nothing great about war, but it does bring out the greatness in people. Here was a military leader -- he didn't sit in a tent behind the lines and issue orders. He drove his staff officers nuts by actually leading the troops. He was so well respected and admired by the men under his command that when he lay sick in his tent, they took up a collection among themselves to buy decent food to nurse him back to health. When the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler was uncovered, he was implicated, even though he had told the conspirators that he would have nothing to do with it. Given the choice between suicide and a public trial that would humiliate him and leave his family in the direst of straits, he chose to sacrifice himself.



At 07:03, Blogger T. F. Stern said...

This is the kind of post that should go around once in a while and then be thought about prior to responding. My bet would be that too many would have shallow thoughts and come up with sports figures or pop culture artists rather than solid individuals. Food for thought, thanks for the post.

At 14:01, Blogger Bonfire said...

Don Guthrie - My old Branch President. He is an amazing man.


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