We all need Heroes
If you are like me, you are really good at hiding all the questions, frustrations and fears that you wrestle with every day. You know what I am talking about - what some describe as a little devil sitting on your shoulder, whispering in your ear : "hey Moron - why can't you be like ..... you are not worthy, you are not good enough, you are not talented enough, you are not pretty enough ...your a failure. And we walk around in a funk for days, weeks or even longer.
Then something jolts us! Like people that we thought had it all together - who it turns out are suffering and so tortured from their demons, they are unable to contemplate life in the future. Some turn to addictions and a life of misery and pain. Others decide to end it all together in tragic suicide. The fame and fortune that we thought - outside looking in - would surely bring fulfillment and joy, turned out to be an illusion.
In June this past year Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. He was an American celebrity chef and author, and a television personality on CNN and other global networks. He was considered one of the most influential chefs in the world. His death rocked my world, as it did so many others. The emotions ran the gamut : sadness, confusion, despair, disappointment, among others. How could someone whose work meant so much, to so many, take his own life at the height of his popularity, impact and fame?
I have been thinking deeply of Anthony Bourdain, and others like him, who decided that the pain of living was too great to endure. It's also left me with a greater appreciation of why these people are elevated to "Hero" status, and the positive impact that they have made on so many others. Anthony Bourdain is a Hero of mine, because he "opened the window" to so many cultures through the vehicle of food. He is a Hero of mine because he lived to tell stories, as he wanted to tell them, and had a "to hell with the rules" ethos. He is a Hero of mine because he was a true original in every sense of the word.
We all need Heroes - to inspire us, to guide us, to help us. To remember what it feels like to be truly alive. Anthony Bourdain was all of that and more.