Essays on the Theme of Heroism

What makes a Hero?

by Jude Rebsamen from Charlotte, NC

“A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown (Tom Hanks)”.

While seeking out my personal definition of what a hero truly is, I stumbled upon this quote which broadened my perspective of this concept. A hero should show flawless character of bravery and courage, but our modern society has shamed this. I have come to understand that a hero should have a compassion -- like character, and have the strength and courage to show grit. Somebody of this character in my life would be my grandmother. She has the heart of a lion and a perfect example of what a hero should truly be portrayed as. When trying to comprehend the vast meaning of this small word, I came to understanding that a hero makes up of three important qualities: heroes must show great faith, heroes should give without expecting anything in return, and heroes should show grit and determination.

My grandmother shows many key traits in her life; her unwavering faithfulness is a very important one as she has gone through the little humps and trials in her lifetime. When her first child was going into the mature college life, she and her husband -- my grandfather of course -- only had $6,000 in the bank for college tuition. She gave her whole life to God as she struggled to conquer this massive obstacle. God ended up blessing her for this, and she was able to pay off all three of her children’s college tuition with absolutely no student debt. A different, yet equally significant example of her amazing loyalty is when her parents’ motel and beach house got absolutely obliterated by a 1962 northeastern waterfront storm. These structures were very close and dear to her heart, and she was deeply disturbed by this horrible situation. Although her body and feelings said no, she decided to trust in God’s teachings and fall into His arms. She decided to abandon her own wants and completely rely on God while rebuilding the damages. The previous mentioned examples are just a handful of the many that show how fixed her mind is set on God.

My grandmother is a pure demonstration of my second criteria for what a hero truly is; heroes should have a caring heart and give without expecting absolutely anything in return. One example of her gratitude that pulls at my heart is how she does several acts of kindness that go unnoticed. From constructing a meal for twenty, or opening up her home for us, my grandmother will have a caring heart. She makes such an impact on our family that inspires all of us to emulate her heart of gratitude in public. Another example of her exceptional, nurturing spirit is how she takes one for the team and pays exactly how much is needed for our annual, family beach trip. An extraordinary amount of finance and emotions are all forced into our trip and my grandmother takes the initiative and responsibility to take care of that. The rest of our family is immensely thankful and glad that my grandmother can have her special and unique impact on our family.   

The last criteria of what a hero is in my eyes is heroes must show grit and determination. Out of all of these criteria, I think this one fits in like a puzzle piece to what a big portion of what my grandmothers personality really is. As a starting business owner along with her husband’s fresh new business, she faced and wrestled with the struggles of a new occupation, especially with her unique new pursuit. Though she was very stressed and worried at first, she showed monstrous might and grit, which led her to be successful. In the same fashion, she also showed will power when she had her heart attack. This malicious event took a hard punch on her body, which ended up strengthening three things: her faith, mental strength, and physical strength. With her family and friends to support her, she had the opportunity to annihilate her medical foe, and stand on the throne of victory in the end.

Plainly, my hero has influenced me to have a certain mindset of love and determination. Even now my grandmother holds this personality that I have mentioned above. Even now she encourages me to withstand the temptations of turning down these criteria. Even now she withholds such a positive and rich mental strength (and makes some bomb food as an added bonus). Now that I have self-- evaluated over this vast topic, I appreciate and respect my grandmother more than ever before. With all of the grit, the special mindset of giving without expecting anything in return, caringness, and faithfulness she has had and will have, my grandmother sets such a bold example for me to have the same brilliant mindset. In my opinion, my grandmother is an absolutely true definition of what a hero should be portrayed as.


Page created on 3/12/2019 12:13:50 PM

Last edited 3/12/2019 12:20:59 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.