Peak Perspectives: Are Heroes Real?

December 3, 2020

Got a question for you. Do you believe in heroes?

I do. Heroes should be a serious subject in Pueblo as the “Home of Heroes,” and our Olympic City USA, so this December we’ll talk heroes in a 5-part series.

I don’t mean “superheroes.” The rise of the blockbuster comic book movies has meant a rise in “superheroes.” But “superheroes” are just on-screen, they have other-worldly sources of power – they’ll fly like Superman, run fast like the Flash, or heal like Wolverine. They have a single personal weakness, but they’re supernatural. And too often, they’re the only kind of hero we think exists.

At the same time, we’ve come to believe in real villains. We don’t trust people like we used to. We see this in skyrocketing gun sales, levels of loneliness, and the walls we build.

And so, we believe in real villains, but think heroes exist only in movies.

But they don’t. Heroes are real. And you know some.

It’s just that real heroes can’t fly. Real heroes struggle. Real heroes cry. Real heroes drive Camrys and shop at Costco. And right now, real heroes wear masks, not capes. Because real heroes selflessly serve and sacrifice for others. Real heroes put themselves second.

This December my holiday offering is to talk a little about what “hero” truly means, how we can train to be one, reveal them, and the direct connection between heroism and the four most powerful words in the English language – “I can do this.”

Be good, be well, be better today than yesterday, to the end. Until next week, no matter what, climb on.


Peak Perspectives is a weekly segment written and voiced by Matt Cavanaugh, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army and a resident of Manitou Springs, where he lives with his wife and two young children. Through his writing, Cavanaugh explores life in the Pikes Peak region, including the gradients and subtleties of our lives in the shadow of America's Mountain. 

You can find more work by Cavanaugh here.

KRCC's Abigail Beckman manages the "Peak Perspectives" series. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of KRCC or Colorado Public Radio.

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