I need a hero. I need someone I want to be like. You may think I’m crazy, but I’m not. You may be thinking, "Why don’t you be yourself?" It’s because everyone’s "self" is molded by their environment, the books they read, the music they listen to, the TV, their school, their parents, and a million other things. Even though all this has gone into me, I still feel like I don’t like myself. I need someone to respect, to look up to. I need someone who can teach me.
You know how people hire guitar teachers or language teachers? I need a teacher like that who can teach me how to live and how to love. At one time the Dead and Robert Hunter were my heroes, but I would never admit it if you asked me. I don’t really know why. I guess I was a little ashamed of it because I knew how foolish it seemed. But I’d always catch myself, fists clenched and raised high during the show like they had just scored the winning goal for my team. They were great, but I couldn’t go home with them after the show. I’d always leave feeling like a loser. That is why I feel like I still need a hero.
I want to know someone who is worth being like. I don’t want a hero I can’t get to know personally. There are lots of people like that — they’re too cool, rich, or busy for me. I need someone who can make me and everybody feel loved, feel like we’re "in." You know what I mean?
I don’t need a dead hero. There are lots of those out there. Dead heroes start dead religions. That’s not what I want. I need a hero who’s alive ... who can teach me how to live ... who can teach me the answers to real problems ... I’d like to know how to feed and clothe myself without having it become the focus of my whole life. Jobs are so draining...
I need someone whose people will stick together, even more than deadheads stick together. They would always be together, and there’d be no "going home" after the shows. We would even want to be together. Jobs wouldn’t separate us. Our hero’s wisdom would keep us together. We’d be living in victory all the time ... victory over the system. You know the way it is; you know what I mean. That’s the way the whole world is and we wouldn’t be like it. We’d be different. Our hero would have a different way, something new and special.
All I got to do is find him. If I don’t there’s no reason for going on living. It’s either that or a nine-to-five job until I die of AIDS, or cancer, or some heart disease.
When I find him, I won’t be ashamed to bring him home to meet my parents. He wouldn’t look like them or even act like them, of course. But we’d have a truly good conscience about what we had been out doing the whole time.
I need time to find him. The world puts me under so much pressure, but there has got to be time.
It’s funny ... it sounds like I’m hoping for something too good to be true. But I know that’s not right. Years ago, when I first started thinking about it, I was out hitchhiking and an old man drove me 1200 miles to the door of some people he knew. They were young; some were old. They were happy but they didn’t hide it when they were sad. They lived together all the time. They loved each other, I mean, really loved each other. You could feel it. They worked together... too hard for me... but they had a reason to work so hard. They said they had a hero. They said that he lived there in their midst.
To be honest with you, I could feel his presence or his love or something in those I’d met living there. But it seemed too good to be true. I didn’t stick around long enough to meet him. To be really honest, the love and commitment they talked about was what really scared me away. I left, not knowing really why it scared me so much.
But now I do. Their hero wanted me to give up all my other heroes. That’s what scared me. That’s what I didn’t understand. A hero is someone who can save you if you get into trouble. He can help you out of a difficult problem. If your hero can’t do that, he’s just one of those idols people talk about all the time. That’s what my heroes turned out to be. I had to give them all up. I’m really glad I did.
The hero I met is Yahshua. He and his people have been meeting people like me for years. And they have stuck together. They are out meeting people like you.
The second time I met him, I didn’t let that deal go down. Don’t you.