In my studies of mythology, I learned that while each of the Greek heroes is born with great potential, none of them realizes it without the guidance of an Olympian or other immortal, most often the owl-eyed goddess Athena. Perseus could not have killed Medusa without the shield she gave him. Achilles would not have slain Hector so easily had she not deceived the Trojan prince. Herakles would not have been able to remove the threat of the Stymphalian birds had she not given him bronze castanets to frighten them. Odysseus would not have made it home without her assistance.
The lesson we derive from all of this is that a man’s potential alone does not him a hero make. He first needs guidance so he can use his gifts to accomplish great things. Only then does he receive his honors.
Not so with our president. He won election to the White House based on his powerful presence, his rhetorical gifts and his calm demeanor. Not even a year after that election, he won the Nobel Peace Prize based on his potential to bring peace among the nations.
In this day and age, it seem that accomplishments don’t matter as much as they once did. Now, all you need to become a hero is the potential to do good. Well, unless you’re a Republican or a Mormon.