Essays on the Theme of Heroism

What a true hero is in my eyes

by Lily Bryant from Charlotte, NC

Lily's Favorite Quotes:

- "I used to think I'm indecisive, but now I'm not sure" -Anonymous

-"The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who could not make a decision."- Anonymous


“You don’t have to have superpowers to be a superhero” - Super Buddies.  When the word “superhero” is spoken, the stereotypical hero with laser eyes, invincibility, or invisibility are thought of. My ideal heroes have power of a different kind. A genuine heart, kind spirit and a strong nature are all I look for in my heroes. A true hero must only possess  two things: an everburning fire in their soul, and strong and virtuous leadership skills.

A true hero needs no powers; they just just need to be single-minded in all areas. Louis Zamperini and Martin Luther King Jr prove that to be a hero, you need nothing more than a relentless spirit. Louis Zamperini was a Japanese POW for two years. He was ruthlessly beaten with sticks;  forced into solitary confinement in a damp, horrible cave; and finally, was forced to hold a massive, monster log above his head for a gruelling 37 minutes. But, before any of that all happened, he survived a plane crash and was stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for 47 days- and had to fend off sharks and look for food.  After cheating death multiple times, he bravely stated, “Yet a part of you still believes you can fight and survive...What happens is up to God.” A real hero will never give in, no matter how big his adversity is. MLK never gave up; even though he was arrested 29 times. He was unwavering in his ravenous pursuit of civil rights even when his life and the life of his family were threatened (Martin and his family received quite a few). He never trash-talked about whites, never threatened them, or never had violent protests, EVER. “ Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” These two men are so much more than role models, they are parts of America’s history. It wasn’t their own strength that made them survive the war - one literally and the other mentally - but it was their unfailing, unwavering belief in God and the very fire in their souls.

The next qualification I examine my heroes for is the ability to be a strong, humble and truthful leader. I always think of Abraham Lincoln and Captain America. Captain America will always lead by example, even if he is scared to death or facing his old friends. He leads even when he truly doesn’t know what is going on. He owns up to all of his mistakes (Slokivia)  and will always give words of wisdom to his colleges. Captain America shows untainted judgment in the face of battle. He is steadfast, strong, and strikingly handsome. He believed that “the strength of this country is… in the hearts of those who fight for its freedom.” - In the same way but equally as important- Abraham Lincoln showed leadership in the midst of crisis as well. He led by example to all the northerners and showed humility to all he met. To others he always seemed calm, cool, and collected. Our president was the best listener and a faithful spouse to his beloved. Abraham had three sons, Robert, William and Tad (he had a fourth son named Edward but he died very young). What made him such a great and respected leader was his triumph in the face of adversity. What these two men - one fictional the other not- have in common is, they both looked to put others first above themselves and be honest. That is what makes them a true hero in my eyes.

True, the most ideal heroes are buff, out-spoken, and wear muscle tight outfits; but the ones that do not strive for attention and fame are my heroes. They are not men of steel, they are people of unfailing determination, and honorable, wholesome leadership skills. Now, my whole view of heroes has spun around.  Heroes do not reside in a billionaire mansion or a fortress of solitude. They inhabit the streets, apartments, fire departments, police stations, ranches, and the suburbs. “They will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” They need nothing more than sheer determination and an influential spirit.  Hero only has two syllables but it sure has a deeper, stronger meaning than any two-syllable word I have ever encountered before. It has inspired me to reach for the stars and never, ever, give up my dreams.


Page created on 3/12/2019 3:22:07 PM

Last edited 3/15/2019 4:35:11 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.

Author Info

Lily is a young person who loves animals with her whole heart! She has a cat who - is missing half a tail and a toe - loves her to death, a insane chocolate lab, and eight beautiful chickens ( all named after disney princesses). She has been riding horses for nine years and plans to make it to the WEG ( world equestrian games), and ride in college. This is her first work to be published but we are expecting great things to come!