For a long time, some of my heroes were star athletes who, of course, were in incredible shape and were often world-record holders. Since those days, many of their records were broken and some stars slowly turned off, their twinkle never to be seen again. Some athletes, however, went on to become more famous for their roles in politics than for their prowess in physiques.
Some became movie stars, who, I think, were not only stars for their good looks but for their ability to do their own stunts, cutting down on production costs and lawsuits. Eventually, some passed away and some just kept on growing in the public eye. Take for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the very epitome of a real-live action hero.
Arnold went on to become Governor of California. The voters were ecstatic, after all, who could better represent California than one of the best-known people in the world? The opposition to his governance style, however, fought harder than any Terminator to eliminate him. Arnold came back swinging. It seemed that the ultimate killer cyborg had a human side after all.
Arnold didn’t fare well with his financial way of doing business, but he did clean up the air big time, bringing out the greener side of big business and the state of California. Being a Schwarzenegger fan, I admired the way he approached things and he was an honest man (at least he coughed up confessions when needed).
When things started to get rough for Arnold, he came clean with who he was as a human being. He said on national television that he did a lot of things that might not be considered as ordinary; he did a lot of different drugs and consumed much drink in his time as a superstar. This made him just like many people in the real world who have to face similar issues and, as a result, it made him even more popular.
Now, how about our own people? Where did the First Nations stars go? Most famously Tom Longboat, Will Rogers (who almost became president of the USA) and Jim Thorpe, all stars who still shine in modern-day legends. Today, First Nations people are all over the sports world and they are all still human.
Romeo Saganash ran for Canada in the Pan American Games back in the day and now he’s a politician, perhaps one of the more famous ones from Quebec. However, in one of his human moments he collapsed obviously exhausted, tired and probably inebriated enough to sleep on a plane, only to be tossed off the flight on his way home from a stressful time on Parliament Hill.
What’s the difference between Romeo and Arnold? Not much I say. I know that the political world is stressful, incredibly demanding and requires a lot of commitment. What I know is that no matter how good your physique is, life will eventually take its toll. So, I say, terminator or not, once you lose sight of your own humanity, then you work for things that are not humanly right. Perhaps we all have to look at the person sometimes, when their star shines bright enough to blind some folks and mask them in a suit that might belong to someone you expect to be superhuman with powers of authority.