Last night Susan and Stewart hosted a “Robert Burns Supper.” It was a delightful evening of delicious food (haggis, tatties, neeps roasted vegetables & fish pie) and wonderful company. At a certain point in the evening there was the recitation of poetry (mostly Burns’). It was really a wonderful experience to listen to poetry.
At the end of the evening, Stewart mentioned that while Robert Burns was much beloved as a poet, he had a difficult time making a living from it (he had some 14 children) that he considered going to Jamaica, which would mean being involved in the slave trade. He went on stating that Burns is reviled for considering this.
I responded, “That is so facile. It is easy to judge the man from this point in time. Why don’t we determine what is immoral in our times and judge ourselves according to that standard.”
“Yes,” Susan chimed in, “we want our heroes to be perfect.”
We want our heroes to be blameless. We want to believe that Martin Luther King Jr, John F. Kennedy or Robert F. Kennedy never had affairs. Rather those details should give us hope that we, with all our failings and sinfulness, can rise to the heroic standards as they did.