Hero or star?

In 1947 David Robert Jones was born in South London.
He formed his first band at the wide-eyed age of 15.
And then magnificently metamorphosed.
From a performer at weddings into a hero of our times.
Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane.
The incomparable David Bowie.
A hero, not a star.
I recently listened to Bowie’s final creation “Blackstar.”
And I watched his startling “Lazarus” video.
With the dying Bowie portrayed as a hospital patient.
And the hero/star distinction became glaringly clear.
Stars are static.
Like stars in the sky, they’re always there.
They comfort us, provide assurance, warmth and light.
There are no surprises with stars.
They give us what we expect of them.
Like John Wayne or Jimmy Buffet.
Heroes are dynamic.
They’re unpredictable.
They see things differently.
They possess an inquisitive openness to life.
They dare and they stretch.
Themselves and us.
Our beliefs in what’s acceptable and what’s possible.
Heroes do a service to mankind.
They’re precursors of cultural change and growth.
They change the way we look at the world.
And how we see ourselves.
Our identities, our potential.
Heroes move us.
There are billions of stars.
People who help us feel safe and comfortable.
And that’s a good thing.
Heroes are scarce.
And absolutely essential to our evolution.
Because they experiment and create.
They change things.
They push humanity forward.
About a week before his death, Bowie called his producer.
He told him he wanted to make one more album.
And so during his final weeks, a dying and passionate Bowie created five fresh songs.
David Jones may be a Starman now.
But he was truly a hero on Earth.
Someday we’ll all be starmen and starwomen.
In the meantime, ask yourself.
Who will I be during my brief human journey?
Hero or star?