I tried crushes. They don’t work for me. When I was 9 or 10, I remember begging my dad to get me a Leif Garret album. I didn’t really want his album, but the free poster that came with it. I wanted to be like my friends so I tacked him up on my wall, wondering what the fuss was about. In high school I had a James Dean calendar. I kept it long after the months ran out because he reminded me of my late father who I missed terribly.
My idols were not really idols, but momentary lures. I studied these bold figures with detached curiosity. Sorta James Dean-y, I suppose. Captain Kangaroo was suddenly an old man with a crazy laugh. Bill Walton snuffed the fire of my beloved Blazers. A football player, famous in his own mind, crushed my spirit long enough to swear me off of football studs forever. Even my parents burst my bubble far too early with a nasty divorce and all kinds of domestic discord. I remember my heroes were too quickly fallen, wounded or frail.
In my adult years, I valued knowledge and expertise. People who wrote books filled with facts and useful insights were my gurus; until I learned how bias and belief color even comprehensive tomes. Despite my overflowing library, few thinkers, philosophers or scientists wrangled me into submission. I bow to the willy artists and clever poets who tackle reason in the shadows while speckling the walls with imagination and possibility.
What moves me deeply today are people who live in service. Especially if they didn’t mean to or had other plans before their hearts were snagged by a love more powerful than ego. I dig those who are willing to fumble across the stage without pretense; get over themselves and reach out to pull someone up. Too many celebrities lend their names to charities because it’s the thing to do. Too many people sign checks to clear their conscience or take a write off. Too many businesses have slick eco-friendly-natural-healthy PR campaigns while dumping toxins into our shared biosphere. There are just too many damn phonies, a hazard of material pursuits. I fall madly in love with those who accept the calling to give deeply and big.
I just saw the film Blood Brother. It won the Audience and Grand Jury awards at Sundance 2013.
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Without a doubt, Rocky Anna is a hero. Though I don’t have a crush on him, I do very much admire how he answered his own spirit’s call and has impacted the lives of these sweet children so profoundly.
The few crushes I had when I was young taught me that every one is pretty much just human, warts and all. When we live by our small mind, our victories are short lived bursts of ego. When we live by our big hearts, we become the only real kind of super hero.
**This blog post is part of the GenFab bloghop on “My Celebrity Crush.” *GenFab is an abbreviation for Generation Fabulous, a dynamic group of female midlife bloggers who are setting this world on fire. The women of GenFab are the voices of midlife today. Once a month, we organize a blog hop on a common topic. Happy Valentine’s Day from GenFab.
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