Essays on the Theme of Heroism

Marvelous Heroes Inside

by Bailey Keene from Charlotte, NC

What would you do if your husband shot and killed himself?  What would you do if the people you were about to save wanted to kill you? What would you do if your life was not your own?  These are some of the things my greatest heroes faced -- and overcame -- to earn the title “hero” in my eyes. Another way I determine heroism is by looking at the heart of a person.  All my heroes have hearts that will give up anything to help or save anyone; friend or foe.  In my eyes, a hero is not someone who possesses supernatural powers.  A hero can be any run-of-the-mill person who will jeopardize him or herself, or anything else, to help another person or animal. My heroes also tend to remain strong through difficult times in their life.  In fact, that is exactly what all my heroes have in common.  They all exhibit certain characteristics: a heart that will risk anything to save a life and the strength to stay strong through tough times.

Without a doubt, in order to be able to save lives, a sacrificial heart must be put in the chest of a hero.  For example, Jesus sacrificed His life by dying the most brutal and barbarous death imaginable.  He allowed Himself to be whipped and beaten to a pulp, mocked and spit on, then nailed to a piece of wood, and finally died, all to save us.  He suffered through the worst punishment there was to save a world of sinners.  Jesus’ sacrificial heart is perfectly demonstrated through this line of a traditional song: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me.”  These words ring true because we were wretches without Jesus saving our lives, but His “Amazing Grace” sacrificially delivered us from our sin! A different and yet equally significant example of a hero sacrificing himself to save others is my Uncle Michael, a firefighter who risks his life every day to save anyone he can.  Uncle Mike will sometimes work all day and all night waiting for the chance to help people.  He sacrifices his free time, his sleep, his strength, and goes to work each day knowing that he may have to sacrifice his life for the sake of rescuing those in need.  Whether the Son of God or the uncle of a 13-year-old girl, heroes come in all shapes and sizes; but, their sacrificial hearts for others remain the same.

Heroes are not only sacrificial, but they are also able to stay strong when difficult times arise in their lives.  Heroes don’t jump on the train leading to the world of depression when life starts to wear them down. They overcome these tough times with perseverance and strength.  A perfect example of this is Rashema Melson. A previously homeless young woman who endured through the hardships of homelessness and the challenges of high school all at the same time.  Melson is also one of my heroes. Despite her stressful, intimidating, and sometimes near-impossible circumstances, she stayed strong instead of giving up and feeling bad for herself. She did not let her temporary situation define her.  Defeating all of the odds that were stacked against her, she did not graduate as the poor homeless girl who would never make it in the real world, but as the incredible homeless girl, finishing at the head of her class. The perseverance and strength she had to overcome these challenges, and to go that extra mile by graduating at the top of her class, is what makes her a hero in my eyes.  You see, a hero isn’t someone who gives up or gets discouraged by the hardships in life. Instead, heroes stand firm and subdue these trials.  This statement is definitely true in the life of my grandma -- a woman who remained full of determination when life’s trials started to pummel her with doubt, despair, and dismay.  My grandma refused to give up hope when her husband committed suicide. Even though this tragic event occurred, she was still the mother of four small children and solely responsible to provide for their needs, all while not having much money.  Through all of this devastation, she persevered and did not fall short in her faith with the one and only God. Despite her circumstances, she still was the best mom -- and grandma -- anyone could ever ask for. She might have lived in a trailer park at times and she rarely had enough money to take her kids on vacation, but she was a woman who stayed faithful to God, to her children, and to her children’s children, even through the most unimaginable trials.  All this to say, she will forever be looked upon as more than just “grandma” to me.  In this sense, how could anyone not respect the great acts of perseverance, determination, and courage through the troublesome times in the lives of these women, also known as my heroes.   

In life, true heroes don’t have to shoot the artillery.  They can be anyone who is willing to surrender themselves to rescue a person or animal.  Not only are heroes sacrificial, but they can be anyone who is able to endure through life's atomic bombs.  I used to think a hero was someone who saved the world by doing a big thing. However, now that I’ve realized the real characteristics of a hero, a sacrificial and persistent heart, I will be able to carry them out in my own life.  Instead of falling to pieces over the slightest of trials, I’ll follow the example of my grandma, or the example of Rashema Melson, and persevere. Instead of judging or ignoring a cry for help, I can attain to a heart like Jesus, or my uncle Michael, and sacrifice my comfort zone to save that person.  Even though I might not be a firefighter, the savior of the world, or a homeless high schooler with a mission, I can still accomplish my goal of having a sacrificial and persistent spirit.  Though I may never be able to replicate the admirable hearts that all my heroes possess, I know for a fact, that one day I’ll become a hero in people's lives, just like they were to me.      


Page created on 3/12/2019 2:24:34 PM

Last edited 3/14/2019 11:26:06 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.