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What Makes a Person Heroic?

Characteristics of a hero.

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

what is a true hero essay

Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker. She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series (as Shereen Jegtvig).

what is a true hero essay

  • Definitions
  • Characteristics

What makes a person heroic? Is there a hero gene, naturally giving someone the characteristics of a hero? According to one study, the answer might rest in the type of heroism we are addressing.

In a paper published in 2010, researchers reported that people who engaged in one-time acts of bravery (like rushing into a burning building or rescuing someone from the path of an oncoming train) are not necessarily that much different from control groups of non-heroes.

By contrast, people who engage in lifelong heroism (such as professional nurses who regularly comfort the sick and dying) do share a number of important personality traits such as empathy , nurturance, and a need to live by a moral code.

Definitions of Heroism

The scientific study of heroism is a relatively recent topic of interest within the field of psychology.

Researchers have offered different definitions of exactly what makes a hero, but most suggest that heroism involves prosocial, altruistic actions that involve an element of personal risk or sacrifice. 

Researchers Franco, Blau, and Zimbardo suggest that heroism involves more than just this, however. In their definition, a heroic person is someone who:

  • Acts voluntarily for the service of others who are in need, whether it is for an individual, a group, or a community
  • Performs actions without any expectation of reward or external gain
  • Recognizes and accepts the potential risk or sacrifice made by taking heroic actions

Researchers also do not necessarily agree about the central characteristics that make up heroism. One study published in 2015 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggested that heroes have 12 central traits, which are:

  • Determination
  • Inspirational
  • Moral integrity
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Selflessness

The psychology of heroism might not be well understood, but many experts do believe that it is possible for people to learn to be heroes . The following are just a few of the major characteristics that researchers have ascribed to heroes.

Concern for the Well-Being of Others

According to researchers, empathy, and compassion for others are key variables that contribute to heroic behavior.   People who rush in to help others in the face of danger and adversity do so because they genuinely care about the safety and well-being of other people.

One study published in 2009 found that people who have heroic tendencies also have a much higher degree of empathy.  

People who engage in acts of heroism have concern and care for the people around them and they are able to feel what those in need of help are feeling.

Understanding Other Perspectives

Researchers suggest that heroes aren't just compassionate and caring; they have a knack for being able to see things from the perspective of others.   They can "walk a mile in another man's shoes," so to speak.

When they encounter a situation where an individual is in need, they are immediately able to see themselves in that same situation and see what needs to be done to help.

Heroes Have Useful Skills and Strengths

Clearly, having the training or physical ability to deal with a crisis can also play a major role in whether or not people become heroes.

In situations where would-be rescuers lack the know-how or sheer physical strength to make a difference, people are less likely to help or are more likely to find less direct ways to take action. And in many cases, this approach is probably best; after all, people senselessly rushing into a dangerous situation can pose even more difficulties for rescue workers.

People who are trained and capable, such as those with first aid training and experience, are more ready and able to step up when their skills are needed.

Heroes Have a Strong Moral Compass

According to heroism researchers Zimbardo and Franco, heroes have two essential qualities that set them apart from non-heroes: they live by their values and they are willing to endure personal risk to protect those values.  

Their values and personal beliefs give them the courage and resolve to endure risk and even danger in order to adhere to those principles.

Heroes Are Competent and Confident

It takes both skill and self-confidence to rush into where others fear to tread. Researchers suggest that people who perform heroic acts tend to feel confident in themselves and their abilities.

When faced with a crisis , they have an intrinsic belief that they are capable of handling the challenge and achieving success no matter what the odds are. Part of this confidence might stem from above-average coping skills and abilities to manage stress.

Heroes Aren't Afraid to Face Fear

A person who rushes into a burning building to save another person is not just extraordinarily brave; he or she also possesses an ability to overcome fear. Researchers suggest that heroic individuals are positive thinkers by nature, which contributes to their ability to look past the immediate danger of a situation and see a more optimistic outcome.  

In many cases, these individuals may also have a higher tolerance for risk. Plenty of caring and kind people might shrink back in the face of danger. Those who do leap into action are typically more likely to take greater risks in multiple aspects of their lives.

Heroes keep working on their goals, even after multiple setbacks. Persistence is another quality commonly shared by heroes.

In one 2010 study, researchers found that people identified as heroes were more likely to put a positive spin on negative events.  

When faced with a potentially life-threatening illness, people with heroic tendencies might focus on the good that might come from the situation such as a renewed appreciation for life or an increased closeness with loved ones.  

"The decision to act heroically is a choice that many of us will be called upon to make at some point in time. By conceiving of heroism as a universal attribute of human nature, not as a rare feature of the few 'heroic elect,' heroism becomes something that seems in the range of possibilities for every person, perhaps inspiring more of us to answer that call," write heroism researchers, Zeno Franco, and Philip Zimbardo .  

A Word From Verywell

Researchers have found that in a lot of ways, heroes are not all that different from most people. However, there are a number of skills you can build that can boost your hero characteristics.

Building empathy, becoming competent and skilled, and being persistent in the face of obstacles are all abilities you can work on over time. By doing so, you can improve your ability to help others and come through in times of need.

Walker LJ, Frimer JA, Dunlop WL. Varieties of moral personality: beyond the banality of heroism .  J Pers . 2010;78(3):907‐942. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00637.x

Franco ZE, Blau K, Zimbardo PG. Heroism: A Conceptual Analysis and Differentiation between Heroic Action and Altruism .  Review of General Psychology . 2011;15(2):99-113. doi:10.1037/a0022672.

Kinsella EL, Ritchie TD, Igou ER. Zeroing in on heroes: a prototype analysis of hero features . J Pers Soc Psychol. 2015;108(1):114-27. doi:10.1037/a0038463

Staats S, Wallace H, Anderson T, Gresley J, Hupp JM, Weiss E. The hero concept: self, family, and friends who are brave, honest, and hopeful . Psychol Rep. 2009;104(3):820-32. doi:10.2466/PR0.104.3.820-832

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

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A Conscious Rethink

6 Characteristics Of A True Hero

illustration of heroic female fighter pilot

I’d like to call for a moratorium on the current practice of designating virtually every human being as a “hero.”

Okay, so maybe I exaggerated a bit. But you have to agree that we’ve really cheapened the idea of “hero” in the modern age.

Let’s call it, “Heroism Inflation.” That will do for the moment. But what on earth do I mean?

I submit that we’ve lost the primary meaning of hero. We’ve certainly lost the original meaning of hero.

Let’s explore what a true hero is. What makes a hero? Are heroes common or rare? Are we surrounded by heroes, or do we need to hunt for them? Have we always had heroes, or are heroes recent arrivals?

It’s usually helpful to begin with a basic understanding before you get into thick weeds. So let’s see what the word “hero” means.

A HERO is a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for their brave deeds and noble qualities. A person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.

Regarding Ancient Heroes

In the ancient world, everyone knew what a hero was. Heroes were idolized. They were often worshipped as gods. Many of the names of ancient god-like heroes will be familiar. Names like Achilles, Odysseus, Perseus, and Hercules.

Ancient heroes tended to follow the same playbook. There were occasional exceptions, but as a rule, ancient heroes tended to have the following characteristics:

  • They did their heroic acts for personal glory.
  • They did their heroic acts to win everlasting honor.
  • They weren’t generally altruistic, but mostly self-serving.
  • They were usually on a quest for something of personal benefit.

Of course, benefits would often accrue to others as a result of the hero’s action. Nations were delivered, curses were lifted, material wealth was secured, lives were saved.

But though their deeds were often phenomenal acts of bravery, strength, and determination… they weren’t so much out to save mankind. They were mostly out to save themselves.

Lastly, we should recognize that the ancient folk heroes were often “superheroes.” That is, they possessed super human abilities and capabilities. It was anything but a level playing field. Ancient heroes were heroes often because the deck was stacked in their favor.

And ancient heroes were not as noble as we might think. Most of them had at least one major flaw. Some had more.

Of course, many ancient heroes didn’t really exist. They were only heroes of folklore. And actual heroes often took on mythical proportions as their stories were told and retold for generations.

Our modern “superheroes” are more or less the equivalent of ancient fictional if not mythological heroes. But of course, we all know that superheroes are just characters in a fictional action story. They aren’t real and never were.

Where Are The Modern Heroes?

So where have all the heroes gone? What happened to these men and women who were larger than life? Who performed great deeds? Who had extraordinary courage and strength? Who did what others were unwillingly to do or incapable of doing?

Not to worry. They’re here after all. True heroes have been replaced by ordinary people.

We’ve gone from NO HEROES to EVERYONE IS A HERO! It seems that people need heroes. So we’ve come up with some garden variety types to stand in for real heroes.

They used to award trophies for winning the championship. Now they award trophies for participating. They used to give awards for excellence and high achievement. Now they give awards for just showing up!

These days… fathers are heroes. Mothers are heroes. Teachers are heroes. Soldiers are heroes. Police officers are heroes. Doctors are heroes. People with illnesses are heroes. Those who take care of aging parents are heroes.

Foster parents are heroes. Adoptive parents are heroes. Those who tweet are heroes. Actors are heroes. Those who have dangerous occupations are heroes. And so it goes on.

When I was in high school (a long time ago), our yearbook had a feature known as “Senior Superlatives.” These were a handful of seniors who excelled in select categories. “Cutest Couple,” “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Best Athlete,” “Most Intelligent.”

I don’t know if they still do this sort of thing, but if they do, I suspect that every student would be a superlative of some kind.

“Most Likely to Graduate,” “Most Tryouts for the Varsity Team,” “Cleanest Clothes,” “Fewest Failed Classes,” “Oldest Student to Graduate,” “Fewest Parking Tickets,” “Least Unattractive,” “Least Likely to Drop Out of College.”

You get the idea.

But not all high school students are superlative. Most are just average. They’re pretty much like everyone else.

I love teachers. Teachers are amongst my most favorite people in the world. Teachers have literally changed my life. But most teachers are not heroes.

Teachers usually love teaching, love students, and love to pick up a paycheck each month for teaching. That may be honorable. Even commendable. But it’s not heroic.

A teacher that teaches in the inner city, who can’t afford a car, whose life is in danger on their walk to school, who teaches students who don’t always want to learn, and who makes enough money to occasionally buy a gourmet sandwich. THAT’S HEROIC! I hope we appreciate the difference.

Have we cheapened the concept of hero by making everyone a hero? Is it because there’s a shortage of heroes in modern times – that the solution is to make everyone a hero?

The American humorist Will Rogers once made an important observation. He said:

We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by.

Rogers understood that most people are not heroes. That most people can’t be heroes. That most of us are simply average. Heroes are rare. That’s why we have parades for them.

If everybody is a hero, then nobody is a hero. Heroes are rare by definition. Heroes are not ordinary. Heroes are extraordinary. Everyone can’t be extraordinary. Only a few can be extraordinary.

Characteristics Of True Heroes

So now that we’ve seen what a hero is not , let’s explore what a hero is. That is, what are the characteristics of a true hero? What makes a hero?

Never fear, there are still true heroes. But it’s only reasonable that true heroes should meet certain qualifications.

So here are 6 characteristics of a true hero.

1. True Heroes Serve Others

A true hero is someone who does something heroic for the benefit of others. For the benefit of someone other than themselves.

Which doesn’t mean that a hero can’t benefit from his or her own heroism. But their deed or act or performance or accomplishment is not primarily for their own benefit. They’re selfless in their service – not self-serving.

2. True Heroes Are Extraordinary

True heroes are not ordinary people doing ordinary things in ordinary ways. They aren’t like everyone else.

They’re different.

They’re brave when others cower. They’re strong when others are weak. They’re determined when others quit. They’re disciplined when others are lazy. They do right when others do wrong.

Some soldiers are heroes. But most are not. Some soldiers enlist because they can’t find a job; they want benefits; and they hope to later attend college on the GI Bill. This is fine and should not be demeaned.

But one is not a hero by virtue of being a soldier. They must do something heroic as a soldier in order to qualify as a hero.

Ditto for law enforcement officers. For doctors. For teachers. For nurses. For firefighters. For pilots.

There are potential heroes in ALL of these professions. But they aren’t heroes by simply being IN those professions. A true hero is extraordinary.

3. True Heroes Take Risks And Face Potential Loss

A true hero takes a risk. A true hero does something that may cost them on a personal level.

It may result in their being injured. They may have to forfeit something of value. They may even lose their life by their deed of heroism. But they’re willing to take that risk.

A true hero is willing to take a risk on behalf of others. If I attempt to climb a mountain, I may fall off that mountain and die. This is not, by itself, a heroic risk.

A heroic risk would be risking my own life in order to save other mountain climbers. A true hero takes risks on behalf of others.

4. True Heroes Are Self-sacrificing

A true hero is willing to pay a personal price so that others may benefit. A true hero doesn’t merely do things from which everyone benefits. A true hero is self-sacrificing. Here are some examples:

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Alfred Vanderbilt
  • Desmond Doss
  • Irena Sendler
  • Ernest Shackleton
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Oskar Schindler

There are hundreds more we could name. Heroes are self-sacrificing. That’s one trait that makes them a hero.

5. True Heroes Are Courageous

A true hero may be just as afraid as the next person. A true hero may be just as aware of the danger they face as the next person. But they act in spite of their fear.

They aren’t some special class of human being that’s exempt from normal tendencies to be afraid in the face of danger. True heroes are afraid too!

But they act anyway. Knowing full well that danger lies ahead, they forge ahead just the same. Facing down your fears and courageously pressing on is heroic.

6. True Heroes Are Usually Humble

Most of us will be called upon to sit on the curb and clap as the heroes pass by. That’s okay. True heroes appreciate the honor bestowed on them for what they did. But most true heroes tend to be humble .

They’re just glad they could serve in some way. True heroes often shy away from acclaim. True heroes don’t always see themselves as heroes.

This, in some ways, makes them even more heroic. It’s hard to love and admire a prideful and arrogant hero. “Arrogant Hero” sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

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How To Find Your Inner Hero

As we move on to this next section, you may feel that I’m about to seriously contradict myself. That I’ve spent all of this time making a case for heroes being extraordinary. That heroes are rare and hard to find. That most people, including ourselves, are not heroes and never will be.

So what’s this about finding one’s INNER HERO?

Great question. Let me explain. Though very few of us will ever be heroes in the highest sense, we can all find something within or do something that expresses a commendable, laudable, satisfying, worth celebrating quality. Even if it’s on a small scale.

We can all find our “inner hero,” even if hero is not spelled with a capital “H.”

1. Do one unpleasant task each day.

We all have onerous, unpleasant tasks that we prefer to put off. We just don’t want to do them. So we don’t.

But here’s a chance to bring out that small inner hero within yourself. Just do the task . Even if you don’t want to. Even if you’d rather do almost anything else.

Look for that task each day – and do it! You’ll find yourself experiencing a bit of the hero vibe. You’ll be glad you did this thing. And even if it’s not truly heroic, you’ll feel a bit heroic by doing it.

2. Choose not to do something NEGATIVE you’re inclined to do.

All of us are tempted to do things that we know we should not do. All of us. Yes, even YOU. Yes, even ME.

But rather than doing this thing you’re being pulled to do, choose not to do it. Don’t make that phone call. Don’t write that email. Don’t send that letter. Don’t say that something.

Don’t do that thing – whatever it may be – that has negative consequences for you or others.

Even though you may want to do it – don’t do it. You’ll feel some of the hero vibe resonating within. You’ll like it.

3. Choose to do something POSITIVE you’re not inclined to do.

This one is the corollary of the previous one. Some things we’re naturally inclined to do that we should avoid. Other things we’re inclined not to do that we really should do. So do that thing you’d prefer not to do.

Write that letter you’ve been putting off. Make that phone call that you know will be difficult or unpleasant. Be nice to someone who’s down that hasn’t been so kind to you.

Start eating better NOW. Start exercising NOW. Start cleaning out the garage NOW. Start organizing your finances NOW.

You’ll find that once you get started; once you overcome the inertia; once you get past the tipping point, you’ll be highly motivated to finish what you began.

Which will make you a kind of minor league hero. That’s okay. Better to be in the minor league than in no league at all.

4.  Try something you’ve always wanted to try, but never did.

This can be a bit personal and unique for each of us. It need not be something profound like starting your own business from scratch. Or running a marathon when you haven’t run with any serious intent since elementary school recess. Or buying a sailboat and sailing across the Atlantic.

These might seem a bit daunting just now. So go with something a bit less challenging. Start on that novel you’ve always promised yourself you would write someday. Book an exotic trip and tour the important sights. Move away from the town you’ve always lived in.

Learn how to cook really well. Learn how to play a musical instrument. Learn a new skill. Take up serious hiking. Learn how to fly an airplane.

There are plenty of things you’ve always wanted to do and never did. So do one of them. It will help you find your own inner hero.

5. Help someone out in a tangible way.

There will always be people around you in some kind of need. There are probably people around you in a need similar to one you once had. Find out what that need is and help meet it. Whatever it may be.

It’s especially gratifying to find a need you can meet using a special skill or ability that you have. Then it will not only be an act of service, but you’ll probably enjoy it too. Remember, heroes are self-sacrificing. So you can be a minor hero through your self-sacrificing service.

6. Figure out what ignites you when you do it and do that thing.

We all have things in our lives that motivate us. That ignite us. That thrill us. That energize us. Why not pursue one of those things?

If it’s something that you can become especially good at, so much the better. Hey, people have launched fulfilling careers by simply pursuing their passions . Try it. It will help bring out your inner hero. You might even find an entirely new direction for your life.

Final Words

Most of us will never be true heroes. An honest-to-goodness real life hero. We certainly won’t be a hero of folklore and legend. Most of us will simply live pretty normal lives. Lives that may be happy, exciting, wonderful, and blessed – but not heroic in any classic sense.

That’s fine. We’ll get over it.

But just because we can’t be true heroes, doesn’t mean we can’t be little heroes in small ways. Every day. Seek out your own personal inner hero. Start with the list above. Feel free to add to the list.

We’ll probably always need heroes. We’ll probably always need people to look up to. Who did things that neither we nor most others were able to do.

Or maybe they just never had the opportunity. No matter. We can all exercise our hero muscles on a small scale. And we should. So let’s get on it, shall we?

In the meantime, maybe we can agree to stop the “Hero Hype.” Let’s honor true heroes and stop bestowing hero status and the name “hero” on those who are more ordinary than heroic.

I heard it put something like this: Let’s strive to bring ourselves up to heroic levels, rather than alter the definition of hero so we all qualify.

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About The Author

what is a true hero essay

I was born and raised in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. My dream as a child was to play professional baseball. I made it as far as a baseball scholarship to a Division 1 college. I’m a teacher at heart, and love to teach anything and anybody who wants to learn. I started out as a public school teacher. But within a few years, felt called to the ministry, where I spent 32 years as a pastor. I love the outdoors. I love to read. I love people. I love to learn. I try to take a long walk every day year-round. I’ve done that for more than 40 years. It’s where I do some of my best thinking. It also clears the cobwebs from my head and the nonsense that tries to take root there. My blog is Quotation Celebration , where I discuss the meaning and lessons contained within great quotes.

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Definition of a True Hero

Definition of a True Hero

In my opinion, a genuine hero possesses traits such as steadfast courage, nobility, faith, valor, hope, motivation, and bravery. A hero is an individual who selflessly assists others and is truly worthy of admiration. They are someone who fights for or undertakes actions for a noble purpose. Being a hero entails stepping up and actively pursuing what is morally correct, rather than succumbing to personal preference, convenience, or societal pressure.

Today, there are various interpretations of what constitutes a hero, but a true hero is someone who brings about positive change and has a profound impact on others’ lives. In the case of Tartuffe, the real heroes include the king, Dorine, Elmire, Damis, and Cleante. These individuals are my heroes in this literary work because they are able to see through the deceitful charlatan Tartuffe and expose him. Dorine, for example, declares, “You see him as a saint. I’m far less awed; In fact, I see right through him. He’s a fraud.” (Tartuffe, 1.1.23). Unlike Madam Pernelle and Orgon, the others were never truly deceived. “Good God!

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Damis expressed his discontent with Orgon’s judgment of their actions, stating, “Do you expect me to submit to the tyranny of that carping hypocrite? Must we forgo all joys and satisfactions because that bigot censures all our action?” (Tartuffe, 1. 1. 18). He boldly voiced what others were thinking. It was only when Elmire decided to expose Orgon’s blindness that he saw Tartuffe’s true nature. Elmire declared, “You’ve been too long deceived, and I’m quite tired of being disbelieved. Come now: let’s put my statements to the test, and you shall see the truth made manifest” (Tartuffe, 4. . 22). Although Tartuffe remained suspicious, Elmire tactfully approached him, demonstrating her wisdom in dealing with such individuals. She explained, “Ah, Sir, if that refusal made you smart, it’s little that you know of woman’s heart, or what that heart is trying to convey when it resists in such feeble way! Always, at first our modesty prevents the frank avowal of tender sentiments” (Tartuffe, 4. 5. 4). Elmire’s actions were challenging but necessary; she became Orgon’s hero by preventing him from being deceived by the hypocrite. Towards the end, Cleante cornered Tartuffe.

When Tartuffe arrived with the Officer, he had already presented the evidence to the king, attempting to portray Orgon as an immoral person. However, Tartuffe had no response when Cleante questioned his motives, saying: “Why did you not bring forth your evidence until after your outraged host had expelled you? I will not say that receiving all of Orgon’s treasure should have weakened your determination; but if he is indeed a traitor, as you claim, how could you stoop to accepting his inheritance?” (Tartuffe, 5.7 EDIT). Ultimately, it is when everything appears to be going wrong that the Officer exposes the true intentions of the king.

The king chose to apprehend Tartuffe rather than Orgon and commanded him to give back Orgon’s possessions, as he esteems virtuous individuals and has no tolerance for hypocrites. According to Tartuffe, the king “respects upright men of all sorts, but his passion for virtue isn’t blind; his love of piety never numbs his reason nor makes him indulgent toward hypocrites” (5. 7. 19). Numerous characters in the narrative were hailed as heroes for their efforts in exposing a deceitful man, yet ultimately, the true hero was the king. If it weren’t for him, Orgon would have endured condemnation even after uncovering the truth.

In Candide, the main character named Candide is portrayed as a heroic figure with several admirable qualities. These include sympathy, perseverance, honesty, kindness, selflessness, resilience, and faithfulness. Candide demonstrates his heroism by rescuing his friends from difficult situations and displaying bravery in defending his love for Cunegonde. Despite changes in his feelings towards her over time, he remains committed to fulfilling the promise of marrying her. Initially depicted as ignorant due to unwavering belief in Pangloss’s optimism, Candide undergoes significant character development throughout the novel. He becomes more aware of life’s harsh realities while maintaining nobility and a willingness to help others. However, it takes some time for him to adopt a new perspective and view the world differently.

After Pangloss’s death, Candide’s separation from him caused a change in his beliefs and made him question his philosophy towards the end of the novel. Candide directly asked Pangloss if he still believed that everything is for the best in this world, even after experiencing being hanged, dissected, beaten severely, and sentenced to hard labor on a ship (Candide, p. 577). Although they received acts of kindness, the people at the farm continued to be unhappy and believed that they were better off before, despite starting over and settling down together.

According to the Old Woman in Candide, it is uncertain which situation is worse: being repeatedly raped by black pirates or passively sitting and doing nothing. This moment marks Candide’s turning point, as he starts to doubt Pangloss’s optimistic philosophy and realizes that true happiness and fulfillment can only be achieved by taking action and tending to one’s own garden.

Pangloss maintains that all events in the best of all possible worlds are connected. He gives examples of various misfortunes that ultimately led to positive outcomes, such as being kicked out of a castle, facing the Inquisition, traveling on foot, becoming a baron, and losing sheep. Candide agrees with Pangloss but emphasizes the need to work in their garden. The text concludes that the king is the most heroic character in both Tartuffe and Candide. Despite Tartuffe’s attempts to appear innocent and well-intentioned, the king sees through his deception and does not believe anything said against Orgon. The officer praises the prince who detests deceit and cannot be fooled by tricksters. The king’s commitment to justice and ensuring the right person goes to jail makes him admirable. In addition, an example of a hero in contemporary times is CARE, a non-profit organization fighting global poverty.

Special emphasis is given to working closely with impoverished women as they possess the potential to aid entire families and communities in breaking free from poverty once provided with adequate resources.

Women play a leading role in CARE’s community-driven initiatives, which focus on enhancing basic education, disease prevention, clean water and sanitation access, economic opportunities, and natural resource conservation. Furthermore, CARE provides emergency assistance to individuals affected by conflicts and disasters, helping them rebuild their lives. The impact of CARE is significant as it positively affects numerous families and their livelihoods. These women are true heroes who dedicate themselves altruistically to making a difference in the lives of others.

A hero is someone who is both accomplished and compassionate. They assist others selflessly, driven by both their innate goodness and a sense of moral responsibility. Heroes transcend obstacles and challenges, ensuring justice prevails and ultimately emerge triumphant. While diverse in their individuality, all heroes inspire us to improve our own lives and willingly strive to effect positive change in the lives of others.

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A True Hero

Updated 03 June 2022

Subject Behavior

Downloads 56

Category Psychology ,  Sociology

Topic Hindi ,  People ,  Perception

There are wonderful people in our cultures who contribute significantly to their communities. Societies have means of recognizing those individuals and encouraging others to imitate them. These people are heroes. Heroes are people in a society who have done something commendable in society, leading society to believe that these people should be respected and adored (Keczer et al, 1). It is important to remember that the meaning or classification of a hero is based on the rules, traditions, and values of a particular culture, as well as taboos. Heroes come in various shapes and sizes, and they have people of all ages and genders. However, in the modern society and new civilization ideals have resulted in the change in the roles of our heroes. Nowadays people who have done our societies any slight good are considered to be our heroes. The definition of heroes and criteria used to brand them have lost its value. For instance, an athlete who attempts to run or through a javelin for the first time and luckily win is brand as a hero. In my opinion, this is not a true hero. Therefore, there is a great need to determine who is a true hero in our society so as we can use their achievement to model our visions and objectives in life. This can be achieved by describing the characteristics of a true hero. According to Nietzsche, there are several constituents or elements that make a hero which includes the fact such a person must be brave, an inspiration to others and life-affirming. On the other hand, in their book “European Heroes: Myth, Identity, Sport“ Pierre, Richard & Mangan describes a true hero as a person that is widely admired due to their great achievements as well as their noble qualities. In addition, the three authors proceed to describe a true hero as an individual who is highly committed to assisting people in need, risking their lives to save lives regardless of the number of lives saved. These people are praised by societies due to their bravery, selflessness as well as their acts of going beyond their beyond the expected limit of a person’s consciousness. True heroes can come from all fields of life. In the modern society, the young generation can only read of true heroes in the books, people like Martin Ruther king of the United States and Mahatma Gandhi of India are an example of true heroes (Tiefenbrun, 255). This is because this person did extraordinary services and sacrifices for the benefit of their societies. The actions of this great leaders cost them their lives. In addition, the other true heroes can be found from comic books, fictional movies though not real, and even on our day to day activities from people who nearly sacrifice their lives to accomplish a certain noble act. It also good to note that despite their extraordinary or extraneous characteristics, true heroes share same values with their followers. This is because both the hero and followers share the similarity of a higher guidance at all times of need, code of honor which the heroes and their followers live by as well as the fact that both the hero and society are under pressure to emerge as victorious and role models that are successful. On the other hand, there a big difference between true heroes and life superheroes that are now common on TV (Lang, Jeffrey, & Trimble. 157). In many times, the fantasy of the superheroes. For instance, there a big difference between the accomplishments of a true hero, Mahatma Gandhi who selflessly fought for India’s freedom and the life superhero, Superman, who is common on our TVs. This superman seems to accomplish many fantasy acts that are not possible on earth such as flying to save people on a falling building or use hand to put off a huge fire blazing a tower with over 3000 people in efforts to save their lives. These are great and heroism acts from a superman but this is not a true hero. On the other hand, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned, tortured and even put his life online to deriver Indians from colonization. Mahatma was a true hero (Rachel, 349). From the Mahatma Gandhi’s example, it is clear that the acts of true heroes affect their society as compared to that of a fictional one that can only end up misleading the viewer. For instance, people try to emulate the movies’ superheroes through adopting their dress code and also attempt to fight crime as these fictional superheroes do. In the United States, other examples of true hero apart from Martin Ruther King are the people who risked their lives during the 9/11 tragedy such as the firemen as well as the police officers who went beyond their ordinary calling to risk and even lose their lives so as to save lives (Laura, 19). Their acts can be distinctly contrasted with those of their counterparts who were seen running for their lives as a result of fear and terror. In conclusion, true heroes can be described as people who are brave and inspirational as a result of their invaluable and extraordinary acts that end up saving lives or achieving something great for their society. In addition, from the above discussion, it is evident that definition of true heroism differs from on society to the other. This discuss has revealed that in the world today, we have numerous past great heroes who we cannot be forgotten. In addition, it is also evident that the modern society is also producing true heroes who the current generation can identify with. Furthermore, the discussion on true heroism has revealed that there is a new category of life superheroes that is presented through fictional modes. A true hero can be a good role model to our society which life superheroes can largely mislead our population and especially the youths. Work Cited Dwyer, Rachel. "The case of the missing Mahatma: Gandhi and the Hindi cinema." Public Culture 23.2 (2011): 349-376. Friedrich, Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. Penguin Books. 1891. Keczer, Zsolt, et al. Social Representations of Hero and Everyday Hero: A Network Study from Representative Samples. PLoS ONE, 2006. Lanfranchi, Pierre, Richard Holt, and James Anthony Mangan, eds. European heroes: myth, identity, sport. Routledge, 2013. Lang, Jeffrey S., and Patrick Trimble. "Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow? An examination of the American monomyth and the comic book superhero." The Journal of Popular Culture 22.3 (1988): 157-173. Shepherd, Laura J. "Veiled references: Constructions of gender in the Bush administration discourse on the attacks on Afghanistan post-9/11." International Feminist Journal of Politics 8.1 (2006): 19-41. Tiefenbrun, Susan. "Semiotics and Martin Luther King's “Letter from Birmingham Jail”." Law & Literature 4.2 (1992): 255-287.

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What is a Hero Essay. Real and Unreal Life Heroes

Have you ever thought about who is a hero? Most people will give such a definition of this word: a hero is a person who faces danger but combats hardship through mental and physical strength, bravery, talent, and endurance; this is a person who is able to sacrifice himself, or his time, or his money. The concept of a hero was founded in literature. It was the main character that was celebrated through ancient legends. Hero is a revered person in heroic epic poetry. Read this essay about a hero to understand the difference between real and unreal life heroes.

what is a true hero essay

Who is a hero now? Ask yourself who you think can be a hero. The world of cinema can offer someone its own models of heroes. These are usually men of distinguished courage and ability who are sacrificing themselves to show humanity their best.

 Rambo, for example, can be a hero for most boys. He is super qualified and the most resistant to pain. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo are equal heroes. Luke is a young boy who has to discover his destiny and become a hero. Han is a scoundrel, he founds a hero in himself under a layer of disbelief and sarcasm. Spider-Man, Superman, Batmen, all Marvel main characters may be someone’s heroes.

While talking about books, one may pick Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” to be his hero. This character prevails in difficult situations, he amplifies the sense of honesty and justice, courage, and purpose. Atticus Finch is a great hero, he made an impact on American society, this character inspires readers. Harry Potter can be someone’s hero. A young boy discovers that he has magical powers, Harry goes on to save the wizard world. If you are looking for epic heroes, heroism essay will be very helpful.

Thus, cinema and modern books has cultivated for people a huge field with numerous heroes. All these characters are united by the monomyth, this is Joseph Campbell’s theory of a journey of a hero. Think about this: a hero starts in a common world, he receives the message to enter an unusual world where he faces tasks. A hero has to go through all the trials alone, or he can have assistances and friends. This theory has a wide explanation in Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. This book was first published in 1949, it had a great influence on writers and artists. George Lucas does not hide the truth that Campbell’s book had a great impact on “Star War” films.

While continuing the talk about heroes, let us back to the heroes in a real life. Who are they? Do they possess supernatural power and chic appearance as well as cinema heroes. Cinema heroes are perfect in all ways. Real life heroes are ordinary people helping other in need. Often they remain unknown. The one who has lost his faith in humanity should change his mind. Heroes in real life exist.

Rosa Parks was an African American woman, she fought for civil rights. Rosa is known as the first lady of civil rights. In the 1st of December 1951 Rosa refused to give up her seat for a white commuter in a colored section. The woman was arrested, but she became a symbol of against racial discrimination. She was and is a hero in real life. Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist, he saved the lives of more than one thousand Jews. Oskar was employing them in his factories and protected his Jewish workers from deportation and death in the concentration camps. On Schindler’s grave it is written that he is an unforgettable lifesaver of 1200 persecuted Jews. Oskar Schindler is the hero of the past but real life. One more hero of the past century is a well known Martin Luther King Jr. He was the leader in African-American Civil Rights Movements. Martin Luther King Jr was one of the greatest orators and devout Christian. He believed that it was possible to bring changes by non-violent protests. This man dedicated his life to overcome racial segregation. Martin Luther King Jr organized marches and movements. In 1964 King received the Nobel Peace Prize. He was a hero whose deeds changed life in the whole country.

These were just three examples of a hero who exerted an extreme influence on the life of thousands people. Real heroes put their life on line to save the others. A real hero is always found among average people. Heroes do not need super costume. They always try to do the right thing at the right time.

A hero may be a soldier who has shielded his friends from a hand grenade. William Kyle Carpenter is the youngest living soldier ever who has received the Medal of Honor. This is he who threw his body on a grenade to protect other soldiers. William got numerous injuries, but his action saved the life of men.

A hero is the one who is able to drag away a person when he is in a big danger of the approaching train, or catches a baby from a dangerous fall. Real heroes are firefighters who rescue people from car accidents, collapsed and burning buildings. These are men who take out children from burning houses and deep wells. Real heroes are police officers. They shield people with their bodies, or rescue one from committing suicide. Make an order on our site, if you need to write personal hero essay.

A hero may become everyone. In September, 2016 in New Jersey, USA two homeless men were hailed as heroes. They stopped bomb from going off by repotting police department. That was a brave action. Common people, determined by courage and desire to help, save others. A young man (in 2016) saved a woman and her dog from a sinking car in Louisiana during the flooding.

 Although these acts are full of kindness and braveness, they may become the last in the life of a hero. Thus, an officer Jeremy Henwood was killed on patrol a minute after he bought a cookie for a hungry boy at McDonald’s. More about kindness one can read in random act of kindness essay .

Heroes are everywhere. For one person his mom and dad, aunt or uncle, or best friend is also a hero. When it comes to mom and the father, these are the closest and sweetest people in the world. Someone says that his dad is his personal hero because he learned so much from him. When one’s mom and dad survive a lot of struggles through life, and do it always together, they become heroes for their kids.

A hero can become everyone. Find a hero in you.

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