The Definition of a Hero
What is the definition of a hero? Dictionary.com states the word as “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities”, but it has become common to dismiss the definition of a hero. But what exactly determines what the word means? Merriam Webster’s explanation of a hero is “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability,” and we tend to believe that people who are idols, icons, role models or mentors can also be a hero. I believe that one can play those roles, but it takes much more to be a hero. My understanding of a hero is someone who takes a risk to do something crucial or life changing without wanting or needing anything in return.
The article “What Is a Hero”, written by Peter H. Gibbon, explains that there is no “extraordinary achievement” for being a hero. The writer argues that there is a trend to consider a hero to be aristocratic, singling people out for great courage, and that we are using the term today for “decent people who sacrifice or try to make a difference” (Gibbon 227).
In a different sense, men who are courteous to women—opening the door for them, paying for dinner, etc.—aren’t considered heroes. Besides gentlemen, people who drive others for a living (bus, limo, and taxi drivers, etc.) play the same role and are never recognized with that term. They aren’t heroes, but idols and role models. An idol can belong under the same branch of a hero, and a role model is someone who is imitated by his or her ways or actions. In other words, a hero can be an idol, but an idol cannot be a hero. One can be an idol by simply being a symbol of something worshipped to another person, like a parent, pastor, or principal at school. At my high school we had two principals who set great examples for the students. They walked around and socialized with us, telling jokes and making sure we were on top of our studies. They also maintained the peace and kept the violence under control as much as possible. One of the principals, Mr. Isadore, came up with a plain quote for the school: “Make a difference”, and from that it was in the students’ audacity that had to change and become an icon to the new motto.
The qualities of people are distinguished mostly by the impact others have upon them when they are children. These role models shape everyones life into the person we are to become, whether positively or negatively. In Mark Twains novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Huck Finns role models all impact Hucks life and the way he lives throughout the novel. Miss Watson, Widow Douglas, and Jim ...
Many of us may also see heroes as those who take risks for themselves. In “Heroes I Have Taught”, written by M. Garrett Bauman, the author describes the lives of his students and the obstacles they must endure to receive a good education. Bauman gives the reader their stories to inform them that some people show a type of heroism through fighting suffrage on an everyday basis. He claims that “heroes lose more often than they win because they struggle against such daunting odds”, and that reshaping our lives can be the most dangerous goal of education (Bauman 211).
In addition to the reshaping and barriers someone faces, my dad always changed his life around for me to receive a better education. Back when I was a child living in Oakland, my dad had me transferred to school in Alameda, telling me it was for a better learning environment. He felt that because there were so many crimes going on in my city, as well as the Oakland elementary schools, it would be better for me to not have to deal with those issues as much being a city away from it all. As years went by, I began to understand things well again, adding to the fact that my dad was getting more business opportunities with his own company. When I was in the middle of junior high, he and I moved to Antioch, Ca.—41 miles away from Alameda—which meant that he spent at least $40 in gas and two hours in time just for me to get a good education and be around the kids I grew up with, but he did it even when times were financially difficult and that’s what I believe is a hero.
Questions: 1. Saima has proved that certain career myths are not always real. After a careful analysis of the case, what do you think which career myths has she ascertained? Saima has ascertained two types of career myths. First one is all Saima has to do is picking a career and she thought that things will be set after that. Choosing a career is a difficult task, but there are lots more to do ...
Another article about heroism that depicts my thesis was “Heroines and Role Models” by Maxine F. Singer. The article states, “a heroine is known for courage and nobility of purpose, thereby uplifting our own ambitions out of narrow, self-centered concerns”.
In other words, a heroine/hero takes risks to help others, setting aside their own issue. I believe this is also what defines the term because of some people in my life that tend to assist others in danger of something instead of thinking about themselves. Kind of similar to my dad, my mom did things for me when I was a child that caused her to lose her valued possessions and relationships with friends. She would always spoil me with toys and games, never worrying about her financial setbacks. My mother also put her living situation at risk as well: moving from city to city to be closer to me, keeping drugs and alcohol out of my site, and still spending her last dollar on me. Although she isn’t around anymore, everything she did for me in the past caused her to struggle, and that’s an example of heroism to me.
Finally, based on the evidence I have presented, I think the correct definition for the term “hero” is someone who jeopardizes them self to assist, save, or satisfy others without wanting or needing anything in return. I believe that a hero can be an idol, icon, role model, or mentor depending on the circumstance and the courage they have for someone else’s sake. Whether that person is a parent, neighbor, friend or stranger, they can play the role of a hero and have either a small or huge affect on their life, “making a difference”.