I have to write a review about these books got from Moms Meet for free. They are sitting here in front of me. They’re all shiny and happy. They have action figures and bold colors. Nelson Mandela is throwing his fist in the air with a smile on the cover. And yet the only thing I can see is the tab on my computer with the head line of the latest craziness to hit FB or CNN. Cause we all know their the same thing these days. Crazy head lines about crazy things that make me want to hide a bit from this world.
I’m starring at the titles. “The Book of HEROES” “The Book Of HEROINES” I wish I could pull some of these people from the pages and set them free. We could use a few more heroes these days. But where do heroes (and for me that means heroines too) come from? They are the men and women who faced the challenges of their time to better the lives of those around them. These books have many such people in their pages. Some are from fiction like Luke Skywalker, but most are real. Like the Trung Sisters or Witold Pilecki.
These books are designed for kids to want to look at. One page stories about men and women who have done some crazy and not so crazy stuff. Each chapter is broken down into different categories. Action heroes, great minds, heroes for hire (think firemen and police), leading men and leading ladies. Leading Men starts with Barak Obama. Full color, full page smiling photo. And then the opening sentence. “Not every leader is a hero, and not every hero is a leader. Both possess a specific set of qualities – charm, courage, quick thinking, humility – that rarely combine in a single individual.”
I worry about our leaders, I worry about our heroes. Do they have these qualities? I’m not so sure sometimes. I have two sons. The Bears. They will not know the hardship that some others will face. They are luck to have been born in the US. To have been born white. To have been born men. They are the voices that most will listen to. They will not have to fight as hard as others for their cause. At 2 and 5 their cause is pizza for dinner every night. But what will their cause be at 20, at 30? Will they use their voices for those around them? I hope so.
What can I do for them to lead them in the right direction? It seems small, but I will leave these books out. I will leave them open to different heroes. I will show them charm, courage, quick thinking, and humility. No these book will not save the world, but they may help show us a better one. Does this matter? I think it does, because we, the parents of the next generation, need to show them better then we have been.