Heroes and Villians

Dear Ezra and Lian,

I want you to become heroes. That’s a lofty aspiration for you, but there it is. It’s a lot easier to be a hero than you imagine. So don’t worry, you can do it.

I’ve known heroes. People who have risked their lives to save many, many others. They have sacrificed their safety, their time and their money to protect society from very dangerous people. They did things to provide for hundreds of thousand of poor and brought peace to troubled lands in troubled times. They have earned a great deal of respect. I hope you can do something like that one day as well.

The really difficult thing to tell you kids is that those very same heroes, quite often are villains as well. That’s something I worry about a lot. It is so easy, after you have done something truly heroic, to become the very thing you hate. Once you have people’s trust and undying support, you can get away with almost anything. Hero-worshippers don’t want to know the truth about the “good guys” behaving like the “bad guys”. They will happily look the other way, while their heroes engage in obviously suspicious behaviours.

People want to enjoy a good story or watch a movie with a happy ending. The reality is that we live in a never-ending story. I’m going to ruin the plot with a twist no one wants to see coming. I will develop characters with attributes they shouldn’t have. Only silence lets the illusion continue. I can’t be silent any longer. I’m sorry for making our story so complicated.

Love,

Dad