They don’t make many heroes like Atticus Finch anymore

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
– Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

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This past week I attended a local university presentation of a play based on
Harper Lee’s classic book, To Kill a Mockingbird. In a way I felt a little sorry for the actor playing Atticus. How does someone get out from under the gigantic shadow cast by Gregory Peck ‘s portrayal in the movie.

Still, it was a first-rate play, and a wonderful reminder of how great a character Atticus Finch is in American literature. He was a true hero; not so much in the traditional sense of a physical shoot’em up, beat’em up type hero. And certainly not at all like the current trend of anti-heroes.

I don’t exactly remember, but I was maybe 13 or 14 years old when I first read To Kill a Mockingbird. What’s more, I’m not sure when I first saw the movie. But I do remember Atticus Finch as perhaps one of the first “real” heroes of my childhood. Sure, he’s a fictional character, but not like my other childhood idols; Tarzan, Hercules, Batman and the Green Lantern.

Yes, I loved my comic book heroes, but I knew deep down I would never be like them. But Atticus Finch was someone I could emulate. He was a good, decent man – an honorable man. Atticus was a man of integrity and inner strength; self-confident and willing to stand up and fight for what was right.

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Hopefully, I’ve achieved that goal of growing up to be, in some ways, like Atticus. I can’t think of a greater complement. Perhaps, at the end of my life, if I were to be in some ways compared to him, I would consider my life one that was well lived.

Would I ever measure up Batman, Tarzan or Hercules? Of course not! But I do still have a fondness for them. I’ll still be going to see all the superhero blockbuster movies this summer.

Again, I enjoyed that play this week. A copy of the book has been placed in my “to read” pile. I’m Looking forward to visiting with Atticus again.

“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
– Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mocking Bird

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About VocareMentor

Walk with the wise and become wise - Prov. 13:20 A lot of my blog comes out of the way I grew up. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I didn’t see much of my father. I had no understanding of how the lack of his presence in my life affected every choice I made as I grew up. Much of my adult life has been attempting to sort things out and catch up. Thus, what you’ll find on my blog are musings, thoughts, wisdom and ideas from history and pop culture. Themes: mentors, father/son, male/female, self-discovery, courage, stepping up, friendship and more.
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