Like many of my generation, I have a weakness for hero worship. At some point, however, we all begin to question our heroes and our need for them. This leads us to ask: What is a hero?
Despite immense differences in cultures, heroes around the world generally share a number of characteristics that instruct and inspire people.
A hero does something worth talking about. A hero has a story of adventure to tell and a community who will listen. But a hero goes beyond mere fame.
Heroes serve powers or principles larger than themselves. Like high-voltage transformers, heroes take the energy of higher powers and step it down so that it can be used by ordinary people.
The hero lives a life worthy of imitation. Those who imitate a genuine hero experience life with new depth, enthusiasm, and meaning. A sure test for would-be heroes is what or whom do they serve? What are they willing to live and die for? If the answer or evidence suggests they serve only their own fame, they may be famous persons but not heroes. Madonna and Michael Jackson are famous, but who would claim that their fans find life more abundant?
Heroes are catalysts (催化剂) for change. They have a vision from the mountaintop. They have the skill and the charm to move the masses. They create new possibilities. Without Gandhi, India might still be part of the British Empire. Without Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., we might still have segregated (隔离的) buses, restaurants, and parks. It may be possible for large-scale change to occur without leaders with magnetic personalities, but the pace of change would be slow, the vision uncertain, and the committee meetings endless.
1. Although heroes may come from different cultures, they ________.
A generally possess certain inspiring characteristics
B probably share some weaknesses of ordinary people
C are often influenced by previous generations
D all unknowingly attract a large number of fans
2. According to the passage, heroes are compared to high-voltage transformers in that ________.
A they have a vision from the mountaintop
B they have warm feelings and emotions
C they can serve as concrete examples of noble principles
D they can make people feel stronger and more confident
3. Madonna and Michael Jackson are not considered heroes because ________.
A they are popular only among certain groups of people
B their performances do not improve their fans morally
C their primary concern is their own financial interests
D they are not clear about the principles they should follow
4. Gandhi and Martin Luther King are typical examples of outstanding leaders who ________.
A are good at demonstrating their charming characters
B can move the masses with their forceful speeches
C are capable of meeting all challenges and hardships
D can provide an answer to the problems of their people
5. The author concludes that historical changes would ________.
A be delayed without leaders with inspiring personal qualities
B not happen without heroes making the necessary sacrifices
C take place ff there were heroes to lead the people
D produce leaders with attractive personalities