It seems that the mortals we all are cannot live without having something or someone to look up to either as a hero, idol or icon.
The modern premise of life determines that immortality is reserved for Gods and Prophets, untouchables who cannot be depicted in a physical form by way of words or imagery.
Such is our mission in life that it wholly embraces history, indoctrination, ideaology and morality.
If I ask someone the question ‘who is your hero’, the usual answer will be ‘ mother’ or ‘father’ plus a religious prophet such as Mohammed or Jesus.
The question will also be answered with Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, Batman, Wonderwoman, Incredible Hulk, all of whom have transferred their popularity from comic books to films and computer games.
These characters are the superheroes of the modern era, engaging in combat, taking risks to protect something or someone most cherished of all.
It is the act of protection of people, placing safety, health and welfare above everything else, not always with a happy outcome, which defines a true hero.
A hero is not superhuman but an ordinary civilian of this world, leading a fight against a serious medical condition such as cancer or aids, someone who carries out a rescue act with great courage, a vigilante who stems violence from another intent on death and destruction.
In this context, a professional such as a soldier, doctor, firefighter or even housewife are definite .heroes everyday in the commission of their work.
A hero only needs to be mortal as human or animal, not seeking reward, acclamation or maryrdom.
Our quest to have someone to look up to in our daily life leads us to idolise folk who do great things which we admire and who sow the seeds of our own aspirations.
The concept of idolatry has gone far beyond the worship of a material thing made from gold, silver, wood, stone or clay.
Our idols are football players, pop singers, boybands, dancers, models, actors and actresses, writers and painters, media personalities, athletes, even political activists and anthromorphic creations.
It is not wrong to aspire in triumph in competition, break records, explore new worlds, go beyond the limits of human endeavour, become admired.
Nor is it wrong to look beyond our station in life and strive for betterment with what we derive from education, that pedestal upon which we place our idols.
But if we look beyond that or give conflict to our mission in life, perhaps the Gods will get angry and take vengeance upon us.
Abraham Herschel may have been right in his book ‘The Insanity of Freedom’ when he said that humanity had traded holiness for convenience, wisdom for information, joy for pleasure and tradition for fashion.
What has happened to humanity in the mission of life on earth?
The value of a university degree, of a knighthood, of marrying someone of higher social status than our station in life and the need to get money to maintain a certain lifestyle, has become more important than the mission of life itself.
Whatever that mission in life might be.
So it seems that social pursuit driven by recreational egotism has become a cult as humans allow weakness to undermine their mission in life.
Contraband drugs, pornography, gambling, alcohol abuse, blasphemy, eating fast, non-nutritious food and senseless materialistic gratification.are key components of that mental and spiritual cesspit of impure filth.
Icons are something different again.
Through a person or a thing, they represent something quite symbolic to us.
The christian has the cross and the muslim has the word of Allah.
A gold ring symbolises love inside marriage.
A library of books symbolises a wealth of literature.
Wearing the team shirt and colours of your favourite team or favoured political party symbolises support and fanaticism.
Buying souvenirs on holiday symbolises memorabilia to be given to friends and family.
An icon is a place, a family member perhaps, an event in history, a place in the world, a picture hanging on the wall, a window or a door or a flower, an encapsulation of our mission in life.
So much for heroes, idols and icons.