Again we have the news and now two linked names as recent heroes, "Sully" and Captain Phillips. They arouse a thrill and thus the question I put in the subject field. What constitutes a hero. One thought is this: they are ordinary. Not just normally, but their deeds are 'ordinary.' This surprising possibility (surprising since one might have defined hero as someone NOT ordinary in his deeds) arose from thinking about this thrill one gets from considering their stories. People, that majority who are satisfied with the canned answers Life provides, are yet aware that their world is actually consituted of mere fantasies filaments floating around. This awareness cannot be too clear to anyone (as we all are all the time, or often anyway) or they woud be provoked to hunt for real answers, and this is not practical for Life, as a whole, -- a bunch of people searching for answers would in fact make life too holey to procede as the majestic spectacle it is. Yet this fundament of dreams cannot stay hidden all the time. So we have heroes who accomplish exactly that which our dreams predict, and thus these heroes are reassuring the sleeper, pulling those blankets closer in the dark. (This last picture is one that Jan Cox used on occasion.) The fact heroes actually do accomplish that which ordinary life projects as competent, aware, activity, obscures the fact that the ruling flows of life are (and must be, for the health and progress of the whole of humanity)--mechanical and not the product of man's initiative, or conscious action.
I am encouraged to view the possibility above as worthy of a second thought because of Wesley Autrey. Why do we not hear HIS name linked with that of Sully and Phillips? What could be more heroic than jumping in front of an oncoming subway to rescue a person fallen on the tracks? Is it because it happened several years ago? Is it because this saint was not of the majority race? No--- possibly we appear to have forgotten Wesley Autry because his heroism was beyond that bell curve of the ordinary which life supports by anointing some mens actions as 'heroic.' Life wants men being able to land planes on rivers, to risk their lives for their fellow workers; one has to wonder if Life wants folks jumping onto subway tracks. This last is not that about which men dream.