STORIES
Essays on the Theme of Heroism

What is a hero?

by Anna Decker from Charlotte, NC

Hero- a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.  This is how the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a hero; however, they are not always as grandeur as people may think. As a matter of fact,  “The simple act of caring is heroic.” When you hear the word hero you probably think of Superman or Wonder Woman--but that’s not always the case. True heroes are willing to sacrifice everything, sometimes even themselves. True heroes are supportive no matter the situation. True heroes are steadfast to their work and will not stop until it is accomplished. Heroes don’t have to save the day, have powers, or be “legendary”, but they do need to be willing, encouraging, and steadfast.

Even through the face of danger, heroes have to be willing. Even through the tiring, desolate journey, heroes have to be noble. Heroes don’t think, “Somebody else will do something”; they aren't selfish, and they don’t wait, worry, or whine. No, they put others in front of themselves no matter the circumstance. Okina, an ordinary 15 year-old boy living in Nigeria, was willing to give his own money to help some boy who he had never met. He even started a business dedicated to the children who were hopelessly abandoned to roam the polluted, dirt-ridden streets; but, he didn’t do it for himself, he did it because “the biggest thrill is seeing how lives are turned around.” Just the same, Jesus-- the Ultimate Hero-- was willing to wash the disciples' feet, be mocked and ridiculed, and take on all the sins of the world so that we could have eternal life with him. I believe that John 3:16 sums this up perfectly: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus didn’t have to die a painful death on that rugged cross, yet he chose to sacrifice his pain for love.  Both of these heroes portrayed their willingness to do anything to meet the needs of those around them.

Another trait that heroes must acquire is encouragement. Heroes have to be supportive, even when they don’t feel like it. When I think of one motivating person, I think of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He will forever be remembered for his outstanding speeches, inspiring acts of kindness, and humble words. I’m sure he didn’t always want to make a speech when people were screaming and yelling at him, yet he never held his voice back and always brought a powerful message to everyone who listened. For example, “I have a dream”... one of the most famous speeches of all time, was also one of the most encouraging speeches. That one little speech strengthened our whole country and led it to victory. Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged thousands of people and was a hero to many.

Another trait all heroes must always be is steadfast. They will never give up, they are determined, and they reach for their goals. The Greensboro sit-ins were dedicated to prove their point even in the midst of people yelling at them, dumping food on them, and making fun of them. They stayed in that restaurant on that counter until they reached their goal. They were faithful to their work and abided to accomplish it. Comparatively, Thomas Edison -- inventor of the light bulb -- never gave up even after uncountable amounts of tests and trials. Just imagine, Thomas crouched over a small, little desk staring down at his plans wondering what he was missing and doing it wrong for countless nights. And then, one day, he did it. That little light bulb flickered on and, little did he know, his amazing design would still be used in everyday life for all history. He said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” He never told himself different, and was relentless through the whole thing. Both of these people showed never-failing loyalty in everything they did.

The word “hero” can mean many different things to many different people. It could be a superhero with a flowing cape and boots or some extremely famous or popular person like an actor or a singer. To me, this small, little word is someone who needs to be eager to help someone in need, supportive towards anybody, and unwavering to their work. If I have learned anything about heroes, it would be that heroes can simply just be a kind person. I can look at my heroes differently now that I know what it means to be a hero. It has motivated me to be like them and has taught me how to do that. Heroes can be stereotyped a lot, but there is so much more to them. Deep down, they are really just ordinary, compassionate people.

Page created on 3/11/2019 5:56:46 PM

Last edited 3/11/2019 11:52:45 PM

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