How do you know when you’ve seen a hero before your eyes? Most likely in real life they won’t be wearing a cape or suit that identifies themselves as this well known hero. Realistically you’ve never or even possibly ever will see that kind of hero. Why is it that that kind of hero always seems to be the first thing that pops into one’s mind when the word “hero” is said; that stereotypical hero that always features in movies? We often forget that we’re actually surrounded every single day by heroes.
Teachers, firefighters, you name it, are all considered heroes in one or more peoples’ eyes based on the things they’ve done. A hero not only goes beyond their needs and boundaries to help and encourage others, but also have a strong mind set. Heroes can be looked in the eye and show that they will not back down or give in to the defeat of something they’ve put their mind to. One important quality of heroism is stepping out from their comfort zone to help others in need, as they put aside their own demands.
Often times a hero has a choice whether to go and help others or focus on themselves and pay attention to their only needs, but the fact that they put down their focus on themselves to help another shows how a true hero can be distinguished from amongst the crowd. For instance, an example of this quality can be found in the story Love Triumphs: 6 Year Old Becomes a Hero to Band of Toddlers, Rescuers by Ellen Barry.
In this story, a little 6 year old boy named Deamonte Love takes on the responsibility of taking care of several other children, including his baby brother and cousins when they all were separated from their parents due to Hurricane Katrina. Deamonte “promised he’d take care of his brother” after seeing “his mother cry when he was loaded onto the helicopter” along with the other children to be taken to safety(SB 20). Even if Deamonte was scared, he took the lead role in directing and watching over the children, putting his focus only on the children, encouraging and making them feel safe till they were all reunited again with their parents.
This quality of heroism can not only be seen in boys, but also in girls, movies, and real life. Another example that shows this quality is from the movie Mulan. In this particular movie, a young woman, named Mulan poses as a young man and son of his (Mulan’s) father in order to save him from fighting in the war forcefully. Mulan then goes out pretending she is one of the many soldiers in the army and saves her father from serving. What Mulan did not only showed courage but also some determination as well.
She had courage to pose as a man in order to save her father from fighting in the war, where also she placed herself in dangerous positions being in the army with no training at all. Doing that Mulan showed how she went beyond her own abilities to help her father. Mulan also showed some determination in how when she was in the army she wanted to prove to many of the other soldiers that she can be considered a real warrior. She also showed determination in which she impersonated a fake son of her father and continued out with her plan just so she knew that her own father with his old age and disabilities would be safe at home.
As you can see, Mulan definitely went outside of her limits and surpassed her zone of security and comfort to help and meet the needs of her father. Heroism often calls for the hero to have a strong mind set. Having this quality in a hero means that they are able to change their outlook or attitude on something for the better so they can accomplish their goal. For example, this quality of heroism can be clearly shown in the poem A Man by Nina Cassian. In this poem, a soldier who loses his arm while fighting for his country must overcome his new challenge, continuing life with one arm.
Undoubtedly, in the beginning of the poem the soldier recognizes in a very negative way how his life will forever be changed and impacted. Despite his sadness and physical limitations he rises above and looks at being positive, setting “himself to do everything with twice as much enthusiasm (line 15). ” This soldier’s optimism is what helped him conquer the battles both physically and emotionally having to deal with just one arm. He decides to push through this challenge and enjoy life as it comes.
His strong mind set was the determination and optimism of bouncing back from what he only thought of negative things and how he was able to change his outlook on his situation. Another example of this quality are the firefighters and policemen doing their job every single day. They portray this trait of a hero by how they have the certainty and bravery to go into any situation knowing that they are there to protect people from harm. One last quality of heroism is how a hero doesn’t give in to the defeat of something. An example of this characteristic of a hero is from October Sky.
In this movie, a young teenage boy named Homer Hickman Jr. is expected to work in the coal mines after graduating from high school, just like all the other boys, but dares to refuse that job and instead pursues a passion for science. His passion all started when he wanted to build a rocket. Although nobody believed that he would actually build one, Homer goes on with no support in building a small rocket with the help of a smart classmate. Despite the first failure of his small rocket, Homer continued to chase after his dream of building a rocket until he finally does.
His persistent determination and motivation to keep going after having no support in the beginning and having many fail attempts gets him to win a national science fair with a college scholarship. In the very beginning of the movie though, Homer had perseverance when he wanted to make the football team, even though the chances of him making it were clear that he wouldn’t. Despite this though Homer tried and tried over again getting back up after each tackle he received on the football field knowing that football could have gotten him into college. Heroism can be identified and seen in multiple ways.
A definition of heroism varies from person to person and can mean more personal to one that has actually identified a hero in their life. A hero not only goes beyond their needs and boundaries to help and encourage others, but also have a strong mind set. Heroes can be looked in the eye and show that they will not back down or give in to the defeat of something they’ve put their mind to. Even though a definition can start or end differently they all have one message that can interpret differently to several people. It comes down to the fact of how you look at the idea of a hero and maybe apply that to your own life.
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