What’s a hero?

December 18th, 2019 by Ken

Most of us have an idea of what we consider a hero.

Those New York City fire fighters who ran into the Twin Towers to save others during 9-11.   Maybe the police officer who goes out in the middle of the night to answer a 911 call for help.   How about the soldier in Afghanistan who puts his body in front of a downed, wounded buddy to shield him from enemy fire.

The dictionary definition of a hero (yes, I still use a dictionary) is “Any (man) regarded as an ideal or model.”  A secondary definition is “The central figure in an important event or period honored for outstanding qualities.”

Those definitions don’t actually define what we’re looking for so we have go to the dictionary again and find the definition of heroic.  Webster defines heroic as “A (man) of godlike strength and courage.”  Or, secondarily  “Daring and risky action, used as a last resort.”

Those last definitions probably more accurately define what we’re looking for in our modern definition of a hero.  Someone who puts their life on the line for risky or daring action.

We’ve broaden the definition of a hero in the last two decades.  We now use it to define those who teach, go to war, patrol our streets and answer our call for help.   We also use it to define those who work with disadvantaged groups or spend a lifetime as foster parents or other similar activities.

I think we use the term hero – now –  to define those who do the work we would never do.

I’d like to extend the word “hero” to include those who go against the grain.  Those who point out the fallacies of the “common wisdom.”  We could use the word to define those who question the “group think” too often common in modern society.  The people who point out the fact that the leader has no clothes  or the herd is going to run over the cliff.

Of course I’m talking about my occupation and the journalists, the blogger, the commentator, who bucks the society in which he functions and points out that the current path leads to humiliation or disaster.

When thinking of a hero, ask yourself this question:  “Would those New York City fire fighters have run into the Twin Towers if they knew they wouldn’t come out alive?”

Now, that’s a question that not everyone would ask?

Posted in Informational

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