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How does one handle being a "fallen hero"?

Posted on April 26, 2015 at 12:00 PM
I recently met a gentleman who experienced what he called "fallen hero syndrome".  Being clueless about his dilemma,  i inquired "whatever, sir, might that be? " The gentleman, went on to explain that he had in essence fallen from the good graces of those in his "circle of life" who considered him their hero!!!!  This gentleman expressed that although the hero status was not one he voluntarily sought - his colleagues as their leader, his children and spouse as their role model became distraught, disappointed and discouraged when he dishonored himself and by association, them, from the high esteem held and stature bestowed on him. 

What a bummer! I thought.  How does one get to that position in life's order of things?  While not something the gentle man aspired to be - it was a position he had acquired and in looking back - inherently owned.  As the gentleman reported his story of his immoral crimes imparted - there was clearly a sense of remorse and sadness in his eyes for those he hurt and as a result pathetically lost his "heroism" status in a rather spiraling decent. 

I am reminded of an episode from MASH - the World War Two comedy series about a mobile hospital unit for the war wounded.  In this particular episode, Radar O'reilly the Corporal genius who logistically ran the unit - became enraged with Hawk eye - a brilliant, yet mischievous surgeon who often saved the lives of many soldiers and was Radar's hero.  This day Hawk eye went into the operating room drunk and almost cost the lives of others and that of Radar who become wounded from mortar fire.  Radar refused to speak to Hawk eye and yet chastised him for his drunken behavior.  Radar states, " a lot of people look up to you - I look up to you!!"   Hawk eye's response to Radar in a fit of emotion between the two - "how dare you act this way, how dare you feel this way?  I did not ask for this and I did not ask for your high regard of me..." 

From this recollection - I could more clearly understand and empathize with the gentle man's feeling of guilt yet remorse for hurting those who so fervently placed him on that heroic pedastal.  I believe though, like Hawk eye, he wanted those who placed him in this position to remember, that he is only human and because of that, he too will and should be able to "make mistakes"!!!   So, I asked my gentleman friend, is your fallen hero syndrome fixable?  He simply answered that while the actions may be forgiven or even forgotten, re ascension to that plateau of trust and high regard may never be the same.  How does one deal with that piece of realism?  One can only hope that the people who placed him there can see it in their hearts and minds to give him a chance to just be himself - fallible, but at the core of who he is - the same person who cares about and loves them as much if not more.  Kinda makes that bible verse even more relevant - "he without sin - cast the first stone."  I wish my gentle man friend the very best!!!!!

Categories: Life Experiences, Relationships

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