It is often said that one should not meet one’s heroes, because they will inevitably disappoint you. It is a good thing, then, that I will never meet most of my personal heroes, given that they exist within that unreachable realm known as fiction. Maybe that’s why a lot of people would say that the ones who have inspired them to be better people are fictional. Sure, there were plenty of great people throughout our history, but we will never really ever have experienced the journey along with them. On the other hand, fictional characters are people whose experiences we DO get to witness first hand, and thus we can get the purest sense of who that character is, and how he thinks and feels.
What I am saying is that, in a sense, fictional characters can be more real to us than real people are. No matter who you are, there is at least someone (most likely from childhood or adolescence) on a television show, book, or film that has profoundly affected your view of the world, your morality, or the way you interact with others.
Basically, what I’m saying is, I really, really like these ten guys who I’m about to gush over, and such behavior is not immature or childish. Well, it can be. And in this case it probably is. But regardless, these ten characters are people (or not even necessarily people) from my childhood, adolescence, and even my early young adulthood who have inspired me to be a better man than I was yesterday. And if fiction can have that kind of impact, well, it is not to be dismissed. Read More