I find this argument morbidly amusing, because a hero is in the eye of the beholder, as it were. I can’t make you agree that Kirk Rundstrom is a hero of modern western songwriting if you don’t care for avant-garde folk thrash music. “Hero” is a wholly subjective term.
I think the more important issue is why we feel we need to have heroes at all? Why do we think it good to elevate some people to pedestals?
For one, I think our egos are eager to judge. Judgment isn’t necessarily negative. We can judge that something is “very good” as easily as we can judge something is “very bad”, and heroes, especially celebrities, give us an outlet to exercise that comparative judgment on a wide scale and sort out just who is better than who. Now with social media, we have the sprinkles on top because we can broadcast our judgment, feel validated when others agree with our judgment and identify conflict with others who do not (the ego loves enemies.)
In my experience with people in our lives we see as heroes, such as family members or friends who are particularly inspiring, elevating heroes is a way of diverting our own inner authority. If Jane is my hero, I can look at Jane and be certain that the choices Jane makes for her life are very good and I may get frustrated with my own life if the choices Jane makes don’t seem to be options for me, or I may make a choice based on Jane’s advice and then, upon receiving the feedback, realize it’s not what I want at all.
How about this… Be your own hero. Did you get out of bed today? Hero status. Are you still in bed but certain you’ll stumble out soon? Go ahead, be a hero. Are you a work at home mom, or a dad working two jobs? I give you permission to bask in all that hero glory. But it’s not from me, let it be from you. Let yourself know how much you trust yourself to make good choices, and love yourself no matter what scruples might appear.
Heroes have a tendency to let us down. One of the great things about my upbringing in the Christian tradition is that I was taught a truth from a young age that I am still unpacking and realizing and manifesting… We are equal. We all make the world fuller, more whole just by being in it. Don’t judge yourself lesser than anyone on this planet, dead or alive. And don’t divert your inner authority to anyone, no matter how well things seem to be going for them. YOU are the holy genius who knows the right path for you. Believe it! I love you.