For the most part, I write in the romance genre, but I also dabble in young adult and children’s stories.  In all of these, the hero/ine is one of the most, if not the most, important element of the story.  Everybody loves a good hero/ine, right?

Well, not so much anymore.

Jim Croce sang, “…you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger…”  Maybe not in your day Mr. Croce, but today we seem to delight in doing just that–unmasking our hero/ines and shoving their faces into the dirt for a little added entertainment.

Looking back on the hero/ines of my youth, I still see them as people to be looked up to, people worthy of my respect, people who will always hold a special place in my heart and mind.  That’s not to say they didn’t have flaws.  Of course they did, after all, no one’s perfect, but their imperfections are not what I remember when I think about them. 

I have to wonder if it will be the same for today’s kids.  Will they look back on the hero/ines of their youth with a smile or a scowl?  Probably the latter. 

These days, it seems everywhere you look, hero/ines are taking falls worthy of Humpty Dumpty.  Sports figures, movie stars, singers, politicians, astronauts–any and all who dare tread one step into the spotlight can expect to be scrutinized under the media’s microscope then offered up for public humiliation when they’re caught doing something wrong.

Who holds the greatest share of the blame for that?  The media?  The public?  The hero/ines themselves?

Any and all of the above.  We’re all guilty, we all share equally in the blame, but I don’t expect any of us will stand up and do a thing to stop it.  We’re fascinated (though we proclaim disinterest), thrilled (though we declare disgust), and hungry for more (though we voice our distaste loudly and often).

Which doesn’t help today’s kids in any way whatsoever.  Unless, of course, they have aspirations to be a tabloid journalist/photographer when they grow up.  

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