I’ve written before about imperfect heroes, super public figures we've admired only to discover their feet of clay, personal or professional. Once in a while, we think we've found the perfect hero — Gandhi, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., recently Nelson Mandela. Often we are chastened by revelations that are inconsistent with his or her presumed perfection. Is perfection a naive notion?
Perhaps we must simply recognize heroic acts, such as Mandela’s, for what they are and, like Oskar Schindler, discount the imperfections. In Mandela’s words, “I’m not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”
Goldfarb is a Washington, D.C., and Miami-based attorney and author. His book Perfect Villains, Imperfect Heroes has been optioned for a movie.