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What comes to mind when you think of the word hero? Is it one you see in action movies? A figure who has changed history? Or is it a friend or family member who plays an important role in your daily life? Does heroism require great physical strength like that portrayed in stereotypical childhood superheroes? That being said, the definition varies based on each individual’s perspective on what traits make up a hero, whether that be a movie character or an everyday person. Whether it be something as drastic as saving people from a burning skyscraper, or a simple task of taking the children to school, heroes exist to benefit the world.
Heroes share one main goal: keeping everyone safe, regardless of what could possibly happen to themselves. They help others and chase after any opportunity presented in order to save the day when trouble arises. Along with the multitude of their selfless actions, heroes refuse to admit to the fact that they are heroes, or even merely acknowledge it. Their humility and care for others is what makes them heroes. Heroes receive such respect and recognition due to their bravery and selfless actions that they become instant inspiration and role models to many. The question at hand, though, is who in particular possesses these traits? Picture living in a world of true chaotic evil. Only villains and no heroes. Without some source of lawful good, society would be thrown completely out of balance. As children, we are taught that fictional characters such as Spiderman and Superman are expected to “save the day” with their supernatural powers. Spiderman would save others from destruction with his wall-crawling, web-slinging, gravity-defying traits. Superman possesses flying, superhuman strength, and x-ray vision.
Powers like these are what help categorize characters to be “heroes”. Youth look up to these strong, powerful men so much, that they deem them worthy enough to dress up as those characters for Halloween. Although they are considered only fictional characters, they do make a drastic impact on younger children, helping to shape them into real life heroes when they grow older. Actions speak louder than words. The infamous character Batman once said, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me. ” It is easy to claim to be a wonderful person, but being able to support said claims with noteworthy actions make all the difference.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a heroic man who possessed so many wonderful qualities and emulated public figure in the movement towards freedom for all in America. He grew up in a time that segregated African Americans from Caucasians; A time when he thought that all men were free, but truly were not. This caused him to want to take a stand against these basic human rights that were stripped from the African Americans. He believed a nonviolent approach may work in order to devise a justice system that is equal to every color. Opposed to peaceful protests, many white Americans decided to take matters into their own hands and start brutal attacks towards those participating in the once peaceful protest. He told the protesters to fight the violence with nonviolence, and combat their hate with love. Dr. King was determined, courageous, and not afraid to stand for what was right.
No one said fighting for freedom was easy. Overcoming obstacles may be one of the hardest parts of being a hero. While it is considerably easier to just give up when tasks become difficult, a true hero is one who stands tall and completes it to the best of their ability. Who is someone you can think of who faces challenges such as making sacrifices, dealing with the severe reality of life, and yet remains available for you when you need help? Perhaps it is a close friend, a teacher, or a coach. For me, the biggest superhero in my life is not one with a big, flashy name. Rather, one with a big, caring heart, and a love for whoever she encounters. My superhero goes by the name “Mother”. My mom is a single parent who successfully raised me to follow in her footsteps of being a compassionate, gentle, brilliant, and Godly woman. Voluntarily choosing to raise a child without the help of a man makes her courageous. No one ever said raising a child was easy, but imagine trying to do it alone.
My mother sacrifices time, health, and finances to not only be provide for herself, but to support me as well. Even when she feels as though she cannot give me all I deserve, it is my job to remind her that she has already defied all odds and gave me more than I could have ever imagined. She deals with all of the struggles that life throws at her in a positive way, making her a strong-willed woman. This sets an amazing precedent that I am always striving to replicate. These are just a few examples of the day-to-day heroes that surround us. Perhaps you are a hero to someone else, or perhaps you have many heroes in your own life. There are many different heroes: fictional or non-fictional, exaggerated or down-played. Each has a purpose to make a difference in the world or maybe just in someone’s life. I would like to believe that at some point in everyone’s life, they are someone else’s hero. So before you start asking “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” stop and think about how it is most likely just an ordinary person, like me or you. Not all heroes wear capes.
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