Ordinary Person Can Also Be A Hero
Sometimes we make the mistake of believing that the only heroes out there are the people we watch on television, read about in news reports, or see in the movies. The truth is that each one of us has the ability to become a hero to someone. Opportunities for heroism are everywhere!
But because people have frequently asked us what it takes to be a hero, we feel the time is ripe to offer some suggestions. We don’t claim that these are the only things one can do to become a hero. But they’re a good start. Keep in mind that this list reflects our own personal view of heroism as exemplary actions directed toward improving the lives of others. If your idea of a hero is someone who scores many touchdowns or who sings great songs, then this list is certainly not for you.
Here then is our list of some ways that you can become a hero.
- Study the Greats – Almost all of us have personal heroes and legends who have inspired us. Read their biographies and strive to discern the qualities that made them great. Look for common patterns. The Nelson Mandelas, Mahatma Gandhis, and Martin Luther Kings of the world had a vision of a better world and were willing to make life-altering sacrifices to achieve that vision. They were smart, strong, courageous, resilient, and selfless. They didn’t let setbacks deter them and showed great leadership. Cultivating these traits and life habits can send you on your own heroic journey.
- Let someone else go in front of you in the grocery line— or the freeway. How hard is it to give a break to someone who’s obviously under stress or simply in a hurry? This sort of charity is so not me, which is why I find it so important.
- Don’t step on someone else moment.What a shame if we did great heroic acts for all the world to see, and went through life undermining our friends, family and coworkers. When someone else is telling a story, for example, just smile and let them have the limelight. Sometimes we are most heroic when we let someone else be the hero.
- Be courageous.Courage is another strong value of a hero. Being courageous means having independence, facing your fears, and being willing to take risks. Have the bravery and courage needed to face your fears instead of avoiding them. Choose personal growth over safety (the desire to feel comfortable). If you feel uncomfortable in a situation such as public speaking, all the more reason to cultivate this skill. Once your face your fear you may realize that it wasn’t so bad or scary after all. Remember that having courage is not about doing risky things and putting yourself in unsafe situations. Always put safety first.
- Promote the Good rather than Oppose the Bad— The most successful, heroic people focus on the positive. They know that negative energy, even when directed against dark forces in the world, is ineffective for promoting positive change. Mother Teresa is famous for saying, “I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”
- Acknowledge your weaknesses. Self-awareness is an important component of being a good hero. Being your own hero is not about feigning a false image of yourself to the world or becoming a narcissist without true integrity. Being your own hero is about knowing your strengths as well as your downfalls. Even Superman was weak to kryptonite.Take personal responsibility for your part. Admit your mistakes and don’t blame your situation on others. Apologize when you need to.
Identify solutions and learn from your mistakes. Consider some situations in life (school, work, family) you think could have gone better. Next, play out these scenes as your hero. How would a hero have acted in the same situations? What would a hero have said or done?
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