A real hero won’t give you a papercut, if you get the meaning. We glorify people as heroes all the time and deify them as individuals that can do anything at anytime and are beloved by many. But what really makes a hero? The definition itself is someone who is admired for their courage, achievements, and noble qualities, but is that it? To be honest it’s not even close and heroes aren’t born just to be noble, upright, and able to take on the world at a moment’s notice. The idealized version of a hero is a person, man or woman, that is able to light the way for others while asking for nothing in return. Heroes tend to sacrifice everything so that others can thrive, forsaking just about everything else so that those they protect can continue onward in life.
Honestly, that’s the popular version of a hero. The reality is that being heroic has nothing to do with being noble, upright, or even capable of taking on the world. Being a hero is what’s accomplished when a person does as they know is right and continues to do so without thought of reward for themselves.
So, who’s a hero?
Heroes aren’t always the good people or the nice people.
We tend to associate heroes with those that are morally upstanding and tend to be nice or at least civil to everyone they meet. But the truth is that heroes are not perfect, they’re not always nice, and they’re not always capable of being civil. Deep down however they tend to have a moral code that fuels a heart that’s incapable of letting others suffer, at least without good reason. In real life the heroes are those that give everything and expect nothing. They willingly sacrifice because they know it’s for the greater good, not because they’re expecting some sort of payback in the end. A hero won’t acknowledge that they’re a hero, and therefore won’t be likely to withstand a lot of praise being thrown their way. They’re there to do what they believe is right, that’s reward enough.
Real heroes tend to be vulnerable and quite breakable.
In the comics and in the movies it’s easy for heroes to exist because they’re all to some extent hard to kill or even wound. In real life heroes are just as fragile as anyone else and can be wounded and even killed. A real hero however knows this and still sticks around for the danger, or rushes headlong into it. We see heroes every day in our lives and might never know it until things happen that require them to take action. Heroes run towards the danger in order to keep others safe, risking everything they have in order to do their duty. The comics show superheroes demolishing entire buildings and sometimes cities without hardly a scratch to show for it, while in real life, heroes give just about everything they have to insure the safety of others.
So who can be a hero?
The simplest answer is that anyone can be a hero. You don’t need a cape, you don’t need super powers, and you certainly don’t need tight-fitting spandex. You need heart, miles and miles of heart, and the willingness to put yourself on the line for the safety and security of others. Heroism isn’t just one thing. It involves a lot of different factors that all boil down to doing the right thing when it’s needed. If you want to be a hero then the chances are you’ll never quite measure up. But if you want to do the right thing then you’re already on your way.