Following my recent post on heroes for the modern age, it has been pointed out that I need to give examples of the kind of heroes I might admire myself.
This seems to require a list of some sort. The Internet seems to be weighed down by lists, mostly, it must be admitted, constructed by men. Television loves lists, and programmes based on lists are wonderfully cheap to make. The World’s Best Pop Song. The Funniest Sit-coms, Pets, Out-takes, Stand-up Comic.
How do they compile these lists? No-one has ever asked me.
I don’t go to media dinner parties. I don’t get invited (I know you’ll be surprised at this!). If I did, I could pitch my programme idea of The 26 Best Words in the Dictionary. Each week I would select twenty lovely words from a different letter of the alphabet, a celebrity who no-one has heard of would put the case for each word, then the whole production would be paid for by everyone voting for their favourite words on the phone.
Public service broadcasting at its best. Educational and, above all, cheap.
Perhaps you could send me your most-loved words and they can be published here!
So here we go, then, with my Top Ten Heroes of All Time. I don’t consider people who killed for a living, like Napoleon or Alexander the Great. Just because he’s called “the Great” doesn’t actually mean he is.
Each hero has to have done something more than be good at what he or she is paid to do. They must have been good for the world. They must have integrity, and I must not know if they beat their wife or husband or children. This narrows the field considerably.
Of course, this is work in prodress, and I’m open to further suggestions and evidence.
These are the top ten people I admire:
- Gautama Buddha
- Jesus of Nazareth
- Asoka, the first Buddhist ruler of India
- Emmeline Pankhurst
- Nelson Mandela
- Mahatma Gandhi
- David Attenborough
- Edmund Hillary, mountaineer
- William Shakespeare