Hero-worship. I love that phrase. Properly speaking, hero-worship is: 1) a profound reverence for great people or their memory; 2) extravagant or excessive admiration for a personal hero.

I have developed a profound admiration for several individuals in particular – Ayn Rand, Aristotle, and the Founding Fathers, to name a few. These great individuals provide me with an infinite source of inspiration, reminding me to remain dedicated to my own vision and to focus on realizing my potential. I have therefore become very familiar with the first notion of hero-worship. The second, however, is somewhat foreign to me. While I know of great people who embody real-life heroes, I don’t personally know any. I pride myself on being my own hero, but that doesn’t satisfy the one thing that is still missing in my life – I still dream of the day when I meet my very own John Galt.

A few months ago I recalled a quote from Atlas Shrugged which conveyed this exact sense of an unfulfilled longing, and it has remained in the back of my mind ever since. After hours of searching, I finally found it. My memory held true, and sure enough, this quote epitomizes my desire perfectly. It pertains to Dagny and her own yearning for a personal hero:

lights-the-original-romance“This was a longing she had never permitted herself to acknowledge. She faced it now. She thought: If emotion is one’s response to the things the world has to offer, if she loved the rails, the building, and more: if she loved her love for them — there was still one response, the greatest, that she had missed. She thought: To find a feeling that would hold, as their sum, as their final expression, the purpose of all the things she loved on earth . . . To find a consciousness like her own, who would be the meaning of her world, as she would be of his . . . No, not Francisco d’Anconia, not Hank Rearden, not any man she had ever met or admired . . . A man who existed only in her knowledge of her capacity for an emotion she had never felt, but would have given her life to experience.” Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

[Photo from: https://www.instagram.com/p/bpHxtMu-1h/]


3 thoughts on “Hero-Worship

  1. Hero worship is one of my favorite topics. Back in November I wrote a poem about this kind of feeling entitled “Earth Is Good”

    I’ll copy it below, what do you think?

    I looked out at the world and I saw it was wrong
    And I saw its seams tearing from seams.
    I was told “Earth is good” in one beautiful song
    But I hadn’t yet learned what that means.

    I since learned what I could to deflect my foe’s arms—
    I got antidotes, weapons and shields.
    I protected my soul from these external harms,
    But my soul never danced in the fields.

    In my diligent quest to fulfill my own best
    I took action deliberate—not mimed.
    I took pride in my work and I strived towards each test—
    New capacities honed and then primed.

    But I felt that my life was not all it could be
    And the world beyond not yet mine.
    And I didn’t know how to proceed or to see
    What was keeping my life from its shine.

    I have found what I sought and its essence is you,
    You who live as your natural state.
    You who make the world seem like a drawing you drew
    And thus own all that’s vibrant and great.

    You who fail to acknowledge the depth of despair
    And indignantly challenge its gall.
    And then further expect that the earth and the air
    Will conduct themselves gracefully tall.

    I then looked at the world and I loved it so much
    And I thanked it for giving me you.
    Just by living your life you have lifted me such
    That I live in the world now too.

    I’ve discovered the spirit I lacked for so long,
    I have seen the bright star of my dreams.
    I now sing “Earth is good” in a beautiful song
    Having finally learned what that means.


  2. Wow, what a wonderful poem! It reminds me of the character development of Dominique and how she overcomes her pessimistic worldview. Thanks for sharing!


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