Still thinking about I. Asimov.
Asimov was my hero. My first favorite author, until I discovered Zelazny. I found many particles of my philosophy in him. I may very well owe him my concern about overpopulation, my reticence with swear words, and my feeling that humans of different nations have more in common than separates them. He was a great proponent of rational thought, and of equality for all. He was an optimist. And he was a very engaging writer.
I've had other heroes -- many of them writers. I admired Leslie Fish's strength and Heather Alexander's passion. I envied Kristi Yamaguchi's good-humored grace. I was floored by Tomoko Fuse's spatial brilliance, and Neil Gaiman seems superhumanly generous to his fans. To create, to create, to create -- and to have a virtue informing that creation -- that draws me.
I suspect these heroes all hold mirrors to parts of myself I feel lacking. I hope, looking back on my life, I will wish, as Asimov did, not to be someone else, but to be myself.
And to that end, I must continue creating myself as I would wish to be.