Individuals, peoples and societies in crisis need to evoke heroes from the past and create or identify new ones. However, the present limited number of heroes recalled as role models is aggravated by over-use in the case of the more-recognized ones. Attempts by some societies to coin or invent new "heroes" has had only short-lived success.
At present it is the media that create images, so that although there may be an adequate number of remarkable beings embodying the greatest virtues, most of them have no commercial or other sponsors to see that they are immortalized. True contemporary heroes and heroines often remain unnoticed, as front-page stories concerning violence and social aberrations take the centre of attention.
Excellence can be promoted by emulation or competition within local groups or social or work units. Leaders in such small units set the example by their qualities and, in addition, offer personal contact, encouragement and support to others. There is no need for greater-than-life-size heroes and poster heads looking down on the masses.