In an age where heroes are as rare as happiness, we are continually told that
celebrities are the substitute. Society has strayed so far off the path of purpose, and has manufactured substitute ideals
that are more figments of desire, than models to emulate. Modern time has lost examples of heroism, but we still have the
need for people to admire and believe in. So it is not unusual to see the attention that is being paid to the passing of an
On might think that little significance should be attributed to a music legend,
but to an entire generation and era; a Beatle, was not just a bug. Rock and Roll has been vilified for excess and the loss
of morals. It would be hard to deny that at times, aspects of extreme behavior, have marked the culture during this stage
of life; when we were young. But at its best, the music and lyrics would often hearten and inspire. George Harrison had more
fame and wealth than the rest of us. He may not be considered a hero in the traditional sense, but he surely was part of the
most celebrated force that ever hit the limelight.
Tributes and accolades say more about us than any one man. The reason that
the public grieves when a star expires, is that a part of ourselves passes, as well. Internalizing a sense of aspiration is
hard, when the world seems to be so out of control. Inspiration becomes a very cherished experience. The value in the artistry
of talented performers is that it allows us the opportunity to escape from the confines of our own existence. No long term
solution, only fleeting relief from the pressing dilemma of life.
We are told that real heroes are those on United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed
in Somerset County. Sacrificing your own life to prevent the loss of others, has always been assigned the highest respect.
Rescuers at the WTC are acclaimed for their stead fast devotion to duty. And the Mike Spann's of the world are hailed by more
than there CIA agency cohorts.
Who is to say there is more worth in one over the other? Would it not proper
to conclude that all have great value? Each or us make our own determination of what we hold dear. While this is natural,
there are universal principles that apply to recognition of sound judgment. You may resent that other deceased Fab Four, John
Lennon, for his politics. But his vision of applying that which can be imagined to your life is valid. Be free to differ on
the goals or the means, but don't discard the process that originates inspiration. When George immersed himself in 'Eastern
Mysticism', many rejected it out of hand, because it is outside the boundaries of usual cultural norms.
Conventional values and traditional mores are proven over history to be the
foundation that serves mankind best. No doubt custom is imperfect, but so is our nature. No question it has disappointed us
all, but who hasn't fallen short of expectations? And who among us has a better ideal? Inspiration is the spark that often
leads to insights. It should not be feared because it could lead to excess, for that is the proper role of a values system
to tame the urges to abuse. Experiments in altered states of consciousness are easy targets for offense, and don't deserve
emulation. But condemnation should also extend to the practices of the gate keepers for society, when their drug of choice,
is the convenient preservation of corrupt structures.
What made the junior member of the super group different from other celebrities,
was that his orientation was profoundly spiritual. Not exactly a common trait within the community that claims special privilege.
His public image was not one of conceit or flaunting extravagance. Hardly the behavior that would equip him to become a 'Rolling
Stone', or the kind of exhibitionist that Shirley MacLaine exploits. Quite but resolved confidence in a life of introspection
and reflection, is true inspiration. But does that make him a hero?
For us common mortals, knowing the appeal of celebrity, let alone the adjuration
of hordes of fans, is outside our experience. But each of us can relate, if we wish, to the example of inspiration. Motivation
and conviction in our own unique talents, can produce excellence. And every person has the ability to become a hero in their
own life. Achieving that noble purpose within your own family, seems like the most rewarding place to start. Harrison is being
praised for his courteous demeanor. Just maybe, his real strength came from his spiritual orientation?
"My Sweet Lord" says it best. How many people have been touched and yes, 'Inspired,
by its lyrics? Isn't the essence of a hero more related to example, than perspections of bravery? Many have confirmed genuine
courage and dignity in their own battle with cancer. They are also worthy of our respect. All their heroism invigorates our
appreciation for the gift of life. With the passing of George, we weep for more than the loss of his guitar. His gentle manner
arouses in us the desire to gently mourn, but not weep. For the world will not lose his inspiration, if we preserve his spirituality.
His message was one of hope and the mystic in each of us, cries out "it's alright", here comes the sun . . .
SARTRE - November 30, 2001