What is a Hero?

The dictionary defines the term Hero as follows: a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal

If you ask people who their Hero is, most will probably give you the name of a sports star, a celebrity, or someone else probably well-known to others.  When you ask someone about their hero they can give you a list of what makes this person a hero to them.  What gets me is that calling someone a hero implies that they are better than you…like they are put up on some kind of pedestal or something.  Yes, there are a lot of people in this world who do great things.  But, does it mean that just because their name is well-known that they are better than someone else who may not get public recognition?

I got to thinking about this when I saw World Trade Center (the movie).  The world had never heard of those policemen/fire fighters who ran into that building to save people they didn:t know.  Yes, policemen and firemen in general are seen as heroes, as well they should be, but I have no doubt that their families already knew they were heroes, despite their profession. I have never been one to look up to any public figures, celebrities, or any other well-known personality.  I don’t care about autographs, meeting famous celebs, etc.  To me, they are just normal people who happen to be in the public eye.

When I think of heroes, I think of people in my everyday life.  My heroes are the people who make me smile or laugh.  They are the people who take an interest in MY life as well as the lives of others. They stand up for me when it’s easier to sit down.  I could go and on.  It has nothing to do with any kind of hero-worship. It has to do with respect shown everyday.  And, it’s not about big feats.  It’s the small things that matter to me the most and what makes a true hero to me.  You don’t have to accomplish some great goal to be a hero.at least to be the kind of hero I’m talking about.

Sharing your life with others, even if it’s a small piece of it, is what makes someone heroic to me, simply because its easier to be selfish.  Understanding the difference you can make by a simple smile, hug, or kind word makes you more of a hero than any great feat you might accomplish, or see someone ELSE accomplish.  We all have the ability to be heroes, not because we want to be acknowledged, worshipped,  or praised, but because we want to be better people ourselves.

“Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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