July 18, 2009

What is a Hero?

The dictionary gives three definitions of "Hero." The one I think of when I hear it is : "a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has peformed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal."

A post on one of my discussion boards led me to write this post. The question was "What do you think makes someone a hero? Is it strictly their job (i.e. Military, Firefighter, Police, etc.) or can anyone be a hero?
I think everyone, at some point in their life, is a hero to someone. Being a hero is not a constant way of life, it is something that happens at certain points in life. Let me share a story:

I have a friend who told me about this. He was driving the other day on a small back road on his way home. He noticed two kids standing on the side of the road and they were pointing at something; he looked back to the road and saw a ball in the middle. The kids were trying to figure out how to get the ball without going in the road. So, he stopped to get the ball and give it to them. They thanked him and went back into the yard to play. At that point, he was their hero for "rescuing" their ball so they could continue to play.

In certain professions, heroism seems to be a constant, although the people working in those professions do not feel they are heros; they are simply doing their job. Since my husband is a Paramedic I have many friends who are in EMS, Firefighters, Police and even Military; they are called heros everyday and their response is always the same..."I am just doing my job." To us they are heros because without them, bad situations would have no resolve, but to them they are doing what their called profession has trained them to do.

The military men and women are also everyday heros but I notice a lot of them feel the same way...it is their job. My uncle is in the military and after returning home from a deployment was asked what it was like to be a hero. He wasn't sure how to answer the question because he does not think of himself as a hero.
We are able to choose acts of heroism each day and I feel this choice happens more often than not; we can send money to help a needy family, donate clothing to a homeless shelter, teach someone illiterate to read, or even volunteer at a soup kitchen. All of these things help people who, without us or someone else, would not have the help they need.

As you go on about your day, and life, remember that at some point YOU are the hero!

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