I flicked on my desktop. There was the news: Mike Wallace was dead, age 93. Oh, what a life. I can’t begin to describe how many ways I admire this man:
First, the newsman I always looked up to, who lived by the code: “To comfort the afflicted, to afflict the comfortable.” Seriously, what other public figure are you aware of that you could describe this way?
Then there was Mike Wallace the mental health advocate, the man who surprised everyone in 1997 with his disclosures of severe depression. Suddenly, the issue was out in the open. Two years later, after a lifetime of denial, I was seeking help. I can’t help but wonder.
And of course Mike Wallace the role model, the man who kept going - going-going - as the star in the highest stress, most unforgiving occupation on earth all the way into his late eighties.
Not to mention his fearlessness; his fearlessness! Everything he stood for - this was a man unafraid to look a dictator in the eye, depression in the eye, and the limitations of life in the eye. You just know, of course, he unblinkingly faced death the same way. Death is always the master, but I can’t help but think - in this case the Grim Reaper yielded just a tad.
Question: Your heroes.
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