Just recently I was posed the question, “Who’s your superhero?” My thoughts were professional? personal? If personal there are members of my family who would instantly fall into that camp, but I won’t embarrass them here!
Instead of going down the professional route, I chose to think more of a ‘life superhero’ who could span both the categories. So who do I think of that I admire, aspire to be, respect and generally consider to be a good egg? Well for me, and countless others I suspect, one of those superheroes is the indomitable Stephen Fry.
I can’t say I know any more about Stephen Fry other than what is already public knowledge. But what I know I really like. He is, of course, incredibly brainy. But the thing I’m more impressed by is not necessarily his intelligence and insight, but by the way we shares this with us in a way that’s not patronising or condescending. He clearly thrives on feeding his own knowledge and always seems open to learning from others which is not something all brainboxes do I think!
As a fan of language, in particular, English I also love how much Stephen Fry celebrates our crazy, nonsensical language through his studies and observations, but also own use of vocabulary. And this of course extends to his thoughts on the normality of swearing which as someone who’s never been very good at curbing that side of my vocabulary, I now feel fully justified!
I also hugely admire his utter honesty when it comes to speaking of mental health, addiction and the rollercoaster that seems to come with it. Most of us deal with our own inward struggles at various stages along the way so we can all relate to some degree. But Stephen Fry speaks with such frankness and honesty that you can’t help but listen to someone who’s prepared to lay themselves bare.
I doubt very much that I’d ever have the opportunity to meet the fantastic Mr F and even if I did – what on earth would I say? What could I possibly offer to the table?? And anyway, you’re not supposed to meet your superhero are you for fear of dispelling the myth of their superhero-ness?
So enough gushing. Whoever they may be, we need superheroes, or the idea of superheroes for many reasons: to shore us up, to measure ourselves against and strive to improve ourselves, to keep us admiring and aspiring, professionally, personally, whatever – and that can only be a good thing.
Helen Rowe, Marketing Manager, Mackerel Sky