What Makes Somebody a Hero?
One of the best things about social media is the interconnectivity it provides us with people across the planet, as well as the ability to share our thoughts and feelings with them. As it so happens, this is also one of the worst things about social media.
I couldn’t help but feel astounded today as I scrolled through my newsfeed on Facebook and saw people sharing articles about one 9/11 widower’s response to Caitlyn Jenner receiving one of Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year awards. It feels like every time we advance and move forward as a society, we also take a step or two back. We become so defensive about pride and success that, more often than not, we lose sight of what it was we originally championed.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “Show me a hero and I’ll write you a tragedy.” It’s as if the great American author knew that there is always more than one side to a story, always a silent defeat hidden beyond our more obvious conquests. After all, the concept of a hero must involve some sense of triumph, and, like the flip side of a coin, loss is inherent to victory.
Start the slideshow below to hear more about NYPD officer James Smith, husband of Moira Smith, the only female NYPD officer killed on 9/11, and what he did with his wife’s posthumous Woman of the Year award when he found out that Caitlyn Jenner was a 2015 recipient. Then SHARE this story and let us know what you think about the matter.
The world is a mess.
I think it’s safe to say that the above statement is true, and perhaps it’s always been that way, although its truth may have waxed or waned at certain points throughout history. All we truly know is what we read in history books or are told by others, not to mention what we experience in our own lives, and together, these are the facts and stories that form our opinions about the world.
With the perpetual and instantaneous interconnectedness of our globalized world today, both the horrors and treasures of our planet are more present than ever. We see reports from dozens of countries on our phones, our computer screens, and our TVs, but aside from social and political news, advanced communications and social media have given us the opportunity to publicly and constantly share our opinions with the rest of the world. So we do. After all, aren’t we the most important people in our own lives?
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We have the right to believe in what we choose to believe, and nobody should be able to take that right away. We should, however, have the right to educated others about their opinions, especially when they are ignorant or hateful. More often than not, the things we write and share on social media reveal our inherent biases and prejudices, even when we’re not aware of it. We’ve all done it. But we can get better.
The Glamour Awards
For years, Glamour has awarded numerous outstanding individuals a wide range of awards, from actresses and radio personalities to comediennes and entrepreneurs. The most famous prize that the magazine gives is the Woman of the Year award, which it has been presenting to women of note for 25 years.
Previous winners of this prize include Britney Spears, Cher, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga, and Tavi Gevinson, a 14-year-old fashion blogger.
Among the recipients of this year’s awards was Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender celebrity formerly known as Bruce Jenner, famous for her Olympic accomplishments and, more recently, for her relation to the Kardashian family.
Since she transitioned and returned to the public eye this year, however, Caitlyn has been met with no small amount of adversity. During 2015 alone, she’s received numerous awards for her bravery and for being a trailblazer within the trans community and the public at large. Naturally, not everybody was pleased she received a Woman of the Year award.