St. Joseph's College

La Salle College Michael Y. Leung

"Hero" by Mariah Carey


       Somewhere along the path of our lives, we will stumble, fall and struggle in search of the correct way out of the labyrinth called trouble. We tend to eventually make our way through most of the rough times with little more than a few "cuts" and "bruises". But when things get tougher, there are more complications we have to face; an inevitable truth in which you and I are no exceptions. Since we are so vulnerable to pitfalls and upsets, what makes us still carry on can only be speculated. It has been said that our natural need to survive is an instinct which kicks in when we are subjected to adverse conditions. Perhaps. But the lyrics of one particular song has revealed to me something that suggests otherwise; something that peels away the gloomy skies for the coming of a better day.

       Mariah Carey wrote both the music and the lyrics for her song, "Hero." The lyrics do not tell a story of a hero saving a lady, as one would probably expect. Rather, it is a morale-boosting song, which is not at all surprising because artists face many difficult times during the unfolding of their careers. Mariah Carey probably got the inspiration to write, "There's a hero, if you look inside your heart" from some not-so-happy ordeal in her singing career. I truly believe that our strive for survival and improvement can be attributed to the "hero" she sings about. My nearly 18 years of life has led me to see two sides of the world: both a cornucopia full of wonderful things waiting for us, resembling opportunity, and an empty basket lined with spikes, resembling deceit and failures. It is an all too familiar sight to see ourselves at the crossroads between the two.

       I remember one experience vividly: I was neck deep in preparing for an important examination a couple of years back. About a week before the exam, I suddenly became swamped with deadline after deadline. And none of them were homework, just writing scripts for the school newspaper, preparing for a debate, projects, etc… I can still feel the tension now. At one point, I thought about weaseling out of these extra-curricular commitments and felt quite miserable. Then somehow, in my darkest hour, my "hero" kicked in. My extra-curricular activities were finished on time, and I just couldn't back out on a commitment. Although I ended up with significantly less study time for the exam and consequently did not do as well as I ought to, I didn't and still don't regret doing what I did.

       "Hero" has led me to discover a new sense of moral support in times of trouble and loneliness. Another part of the lyrics, "Lord knows dreams are hard to follow, don't let anyone tear them away. Hold on, there will be tomorrow, in time you'll find the way," delivers another message. Once we have sight or are within reach of the rich "cornucopia", we shouldn't let that dream go. The cornucopia does not accommodate quitters. It's more of a ridiculous paradox than a shame to look back and say, "I wish I had gone ahead with that…", for it simply isn't going to happen. Just as long as what we're doing is beneficial to ourselves or the people around us, then we should stick to our goal. That's right. Hold on, for there really will be tomorrow. Even if we don't succeed, it will not occur to us to feel sorry for ourselves for we have put forth every effort in our quest.

       What the song "Hero" did for me is provide insight into life with "cushioning" should we happen to come head to head with one of the many obstacles lying ahead. As for the future, as long as we keep in mind that each and every one of us has someone very special , then we shall do fine. How does one find that special someone, you might ask? Smile, look into the mirror, and say "Hi!"



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