Why do heroes fall?

It is all over the news by now.  Unless you do not have Internet, or cannot access CNN or BBC or SKY then this would be news for you:

Oscar Pistorius, the Bladerunner,  shot his girlfriend yesterday in the early hours of the morning, killing her.

Understand this:  Even in a country where random acts of violence are being reported daily, this is still the most shocking news to come out of our country in a very long time.  People are stunned and sad and shocked.  We don’t even want to talk about it.  Everyone is just filtering information, processing this in silence.  When the story broke, most of us simply did not want to believe it.  (Writer included).   How can one of the most inspirational and influential South Africans of the last decade turn out to be a murderer?  How can the poster boy of South African sport suddenly turn into a criminal, a thug overnight?

This might be an unfair comment as the jury is still out as to whether this was just a terrible accident, him thinking she was an intruder, or whether this was an act of cold-blooded murder.  I will reserve my opinion, but my heart yearns for this to be a terrible accident.  (Writer drops a big sigh, because it probably is not….)

Like so many events during the past few weeks, I found myself trying to figure out why this shit is constantly happening in the world we live in.  Random shootings of toddlers @ schools in the US, Indian gang rape, and so many other gruesome stories congesting our airways daily, a pile-up of violence and bad news.  Is this an indication of our modern, civil society?  Have people across the globe become so disillusioned and desolate that picking up a gun is the only solution?

If this is true, I cry for humanity, and  I cry for the victims, and I cry for the lost souls out there who turn into those villains.

But why do our heroes fall?  We seen history repeating itself again and again, a fresh, obvious example Lance Armstrong.  People that we place on pedestals, then with brittle feet of clay, they lose their balance and tumble hard, taking all our hopes and inspiration with them.  Aren’t these guys suppose to be our heroes?  *Cue patriotic music.*  Aren’t they suppose to be a beacon of light when the darkness comes?

One thing that we sometimes tend to forget of our selected heroes is there one fundamental flaw.  Humanity.  It doesn’t matter how high we lift them, they remain human beings.  Human beings that will make mistakes.  Their drive to succeed might be an inspiration, and their success motivation, but being famous does not make you invincible.  It does not grant you any superpowers.  More proof exist in a long list of names of modern sport stars who crumbled from the top: Tiger Woods, Hansie Kronje, Joost vd Westhuizen.

The reality remains that there will always be heroes, there will always be those men and woman whom kids will admire.  Their faces plastered as pictures on their bedroom walls.  And kids need heroes.  They need to be inspired, they need to know that anything is possible.  Going through life then connecting with that one story gives them the confidence that they can di it too.

My prayer today is that God give parents across the globe the wisdom and ability to be the hero for our kids.  Let us stand up and become Captain Dad or Mrs Marvelous Mom for them.  As mortal beings we are no less able to inspire than any other celebrity or sports icon.  We need to become the heroes for our children.  We need to become their inspiration, their hope and their poster child for anything is possible.  We will make mistakes, that’s as real as the bullets that killed Reeva Schoeman, but we can fix them.  And it might even be easier to fix those errors when their hero lives in the same house.

With everything being said I am still left with a feeling of confusion, disappointed and anger.  My mind is racing with a million thoughts, all jammed into my 10-year-old daughter’s question she asked last night:

“But why dad?  Why did he have to kill her?  He was so famous.  Everyone looked up to him.”

“I know my girl.”  but in reality I don’t.  I don’t know why because I don’t understand why.


3 thoughts on “Why do heroes fall?

  1. Reblogged this on Ah dad… and commented:
    I wrote this piece shortly after the news broke of Oscar Pistorius allegedly killing his girlfriend. With the commencement of his trial I decided to post it again, for it still remains the biggest story to hit South Africa in 2013. For all the wrong reasons, obviously.


    • Yes it’s a tragedy, and again not wanting to cast judgement, is seems there is a very strong case against him.

      Proof that my own humanity gives me the potential to be that hero that my kids need.


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