Thursday, April 2, 2015

What Do Your Heroes Say About You?



My daughter asked me the other day who my three favorite characters were. The characters could be from movies, books or TV shows. To make it fun, she guessed mine and I guessed hers. She got the first two almost right away and the third took just a little bit longer. I guessed hers pretty quickly as well.

It was a fun game, but it did get me to wondering - what do our favorite characters say about us? Probably not so much about us, but more about what we like or attributes we respect. My daughter guessed the Saint and James Bond as the first two of my favorite characters. The third was Han Solo. Why did I pick those three? What do I enjoy about each?

All three embody independence to be certain. The Saint and Han Solo are truly working to their own drumbeat, even stepping outside the law to accomplish their goals. The ends justify the means type of mentality. James Bond acts nearly as independently, although a bit more under the direction of the British government.


Despite some of the methods, each still has a code of conduct: standing up for what is right and willing to take on the corresponding challenges and dangers to succeed. Another piece of that is courage. No matter what type of action you are thinking of taking, there is usually some risk and courage is the ingredient that helps take on those risks.

And of course, there is a certain style that each brings to the pages or movie screen. The Saint cantering forth into the world of criminals dressed in a Savile Row suit is certainly the epitome of style, followed closely by Bond’s own suits and exotic cars. Han Solo’s style is better reflected in his reckless sarcasm and wit.


Unfortunately, I cannot say that I actually have all of these characteristics. Still, on some level even fictional heroes are an example so it is wise to pick ones that do have redeeming qualities worth emulating. I do like to carry a certain style of my own and I am not always fond of following every little rule or policy by the book and I am not willing to back away from a fight for something worthwhile. I’ve never given it much thought, but every time I’m dealing with some inane corporate procedure or policy, I immediately start plotting how to circumvent it – not for any malicious purpose, but simply to get things done without interference. I guess that is where my rule breaking ends.

Naturally, all three make for interesting stories, whether it is the more serious, hard-core James Bond of the Ian Fleming’s books or the silver-screen version. The Saint lives on in the books, which are harder to find and even Han Solo will return to the movie screen later this year. May our own lives be as interesting, minus all the danger (mmm - could that be part of it?).

This whole idea makes me wonder what my true, real heroes say about me as well. That is a topic for another day, but I will say that there are some very big differences.

By the way, my daughter’s favorite characters were Katniss from the Hunger Games books, Skullduggery (I didn’t know who that was either until I saw her books) and Dr. Who. Take a guess about what she likes about each of them in the comments below.


Combining his law enforcement and corporate security experiences plus a love of martial arts, Eric Smith created Business Karate, LLC, a Colorado-based security consulting firm. His new book, Workplace Security Essentials, outlines how any business, school, hospital or organization can master the art of self-defense, reduce losses, avoid liability and build a safer workplace. Visit www.businesskarate.com for more. Follow on Twitter @businesskarate