“This is a great country. You never know where our heroes will come from.” – Will Rogers, 7 June 1933
One of the great things about this country is that anyone who is fortunately enough to have just the right circumstances come about can be a hero for future generations. Many have sports heroes who they admire for their ability to do a particular thing like putting a ball into a hole, hitting it with a stick, throwing it to a teammate. I can’t say that any of those qualities make someone a hero to me. But to each his own when it comes to heroes.
My heroes are more of the intellectual or humanitarian nature. Obviously, to anyone who has read much of this post knows that Will Rogers, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, John Steinbeck, and Gandhi are among my heroes. This group range across the spectrum as far as wealth and influence go. Some came from poverty, some from privileged classes. Most just went about their daily business with other people’s welfare in mind. Those are my kind of heroes.
I, like many others, have become a big fan of the british TV series entitled “Downton Abbey”. It is a story about an early twentieth century aristocratic family and all the “commoners” who served them. The intertwining of all their lives is what makes the show endearing. I must admit that I am an antagonist when it comes to a privileged classes especially inherited wealth. So, it somewhat surprised me to be attracted to this show.
Even up until recently many of the countries in Europe were very class oriented. That is if you were born into a particular class that is where you stayed for your life. Moving outside of your class was just unheard of in those days. I’m sure this continues to some extent even today but I think it is quickly disappearing; at least I hope it is.
The United States is a country that has always been about opportunity for all. Anyone can go as far as their drive, ambition, and intellect allow them. That is what makes this country great. I am troubled by the current trends toward aristocracy in this country that is taking place due to inherited wealth. The top one-percent of the population control a very large percentage of the wealth of the country. This troubles me greatly some times.