What is a True Hero?

I was speaking to my friend Emily, we were sharing our ideas for our editorials.  As I began to lecture about my topic, I asked her, what does it mean to be a hero?  She began with a few sentences that I agreed with. And then she ended with saying that a hero is someone who saves someone else.  I then realized that we really don’t understand who heroes are, and if we do, we don’t value them enough.

We don’t see the heroes that encompass us, we can’t see that even though they may be just an average person, they undeniably possess heroic qualities that we just aren’t able to perceive on the surface.   “Anyone can be a hero- it’s your choice, service to others in need, done without wanting a reward,” says researchers from Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. Someone who you admire is a hero, not just someone on the news who found a lost dog for a reward.  It’s not our faults, it is society’s. Children look up to their parents, they believe and follow their habits. If a parent doesn’t show their child to appreciate others, it’s difficult to get the message across.

If we were taught to appreciate the people around us every day, everyone would be just a little more content.  It’s exciting to know that someone looks up to you. If we could just gaze a little closer at the qualities that others don’t see in our friends, family, classmates, and teachers, we could understand others in an even deeper and thoughtful way than we already do.  A teacher, for example, is a hero. They pass knowledge onto us and help us learn to become better people, hard workers, and help us to make connections with others.  Being a true hero is an undramatic and simple act that can help change to world.

A heroic act does not require a reward or newspapers or television, just knowing that you did something admirable should be enough of a reward.  “Historians and sociologists say the authentic American heroes are ones who withstand the test of time, actions testify greatness, visions help transform the world,” states the New York Times.  These qualities can be found in the people who surround us daily, they are admirable no matter what. I want you to ruminate about the heroes in your life, the ones that you see and interact with daily, thank them, and appreciate them.  You very well may be a hero in someone else’s eyes.

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