Slater has become an internet hero as many are marveling at how he has stood up to corporate America and basically said, "take this job and shove it." My guess is that many are holding him up because they wish they could do the same thing in their jobs.
The fact that so many are calling him a hero is appalling to me. Heroes are people to be emulated. His actions, in my mind, should NOT be emulated by anyone!
Granted, the passenger was probably rude and out of line and that is uncalled for. And I admit that I don't get this right all the time; however, Slater is an employee of the airline who pays him to do his job, which includes dealing with unruly passengers. The bottom line is that his actions were very irresponsible and could have even been deadly. According to prosecutors, activating the emergency slide could have killed unsuspecting ground personnel had they been nearby.
A friend of mine once asked me, "If someone spits on you, does that make you mad?"
I responded, "Of course."
He said, "No it doesn't. It makes you wet. It is your choice to be mad." He had me...he was right. We cannot control the actions of others, but we can control how we respond. Unfortunately, Steven Slater did not respond appropriately, but because of his new-found notoriety, many may believe he did.
A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.