bonnie tyler holding our for a hero
2022 / March 2022

He’s gotta be strong, and he’s gotta be fast, and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight?

Holding Out For A Hero by Bonnie Tyler

Photo by Lino Ogenio on Unsplash

Who are your heroes and what characterises them? I’ve mentioned it in this blog before, but two of mine are William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, and Terry Waite, the former archbishop’s envoy and hostage negotiator. The reason; they were both people who were willing to take risks to maintain integrity with their values and beliefs.

I think that what fascinates me about this topic is that, as demonstrated in the Bonnie Tyler song Holding out for a Hero, we often look for others to be heroes, and in doing so make them into something superhuman:

Where have all the good men gone, and where are all the gods? Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?

But the reality is that the characteristics which make someone a hero and not superhuman, they are rather, committed-humanity. Working hard at doing what we think is right:

He’s gotta be strong, and he’s gotta be fast, and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.

For Booth and Waite, whilst they might not always have felt strong, fast, and fresh, they were nevertheless committed to doing what they thought was right. So, what are the characteristics we can work on to be a ‘hero’?

It starts by knowing the things you are passionate about. These are the things that you will always find that bit of extra commitment to do when things get tough. The next thing is to begin to structure what you do around these passions, unless you are intentional in these things won’t just fall into place.

It’s really important at this stage to recognise that heroes are always part of a wider unsung team, the people who support all the work behind the scenes. I’ve always loved the 1960’s Batman with Adam West. And, of course, Batman had the help of Robin (Burt Ward), but also Alfred (Alan Napier) keeping things together behind the scenes. We need all sorts of team members with us, just like Batman; those who are in the midst of the fight with us and those who direct and support from the shadows. To be a hero requires us to assemble and recognise our team.

And what then? Well, it’s a matter of taking a chance on the things that are important to you knowing not everything will always go your way or work out right. For Booth, that meant being accused of all sorts of things by people who didn’t like his commitment to the poor. For Waite that ended up with his capture for a number of years. Yet for both, knowing they were not alone and had the support of others backing them, they didn’t give up hope.

So, rather than holding out for a hero ’til the morning light, why not take a chance and start acting like a hero with the support of those who are like-minded?

Click here to book a coaching session with the author of Retune, Dr Dave Wood.

Exploring and co-creating #wellbeing4all and community theology with individuals, businesses and communities. For the many, not the few.