What is a Hero?

When I was little, I thought that heroes were those funny men on the TV that wore costumes and beat up bad guys. As I got older, I thought there weren’t any heroes in this world. Back then, I could only see the worst in people and thought that heroes were people that distracted us from the everyday struggles of life.  Now, I think that everyone has the ability to be a hero, because to me, heroes are people others look up to in their daily lives.

I am not saying that heroes are perfect. Heroes are people just like you and me and they make mistakes just like we do. However, when mistakes are made, it's how they handle it that makes them a true hero. Perfection is only an illusion of the mind and the sooner people realize that, the sooner they can become a hero.

The word hero has an unclear origin, the word was used by many cultures and had slightly different meanings. In Greek, the word hero meant “Demi - god” or “man born from god and mortal”. The word would often be used in Greek mythology to tell stories such as the ones of Hercules and Achilles. It is also thought that the original meaning could has been “ defender, protector “ , and from the PIE root “ to protect “. These origins seem to have a meaning of power,  respect, and responsibility which is hard to maintain in this modern world in its purest form today has it was used back then.

The dictionary defines a hero's has “a person admired for achievements and noble qualities, or one who shows great courage”. This definition presents a hero has someone who is already above others and placed on a pedestal and it is made to seem that this title is one of great honor that must stay at the standard that only the mightiest can handle. Compared to origin, the dictionary definition has less to do with brute strength and more to do with how deeply ones capability to rise up to a challenge and succeed. Both definitions lack what in my opinion is the true meaning of a hero is.

Hero has been a word both underused and overused in this modern age. Today during the age of technology with social media it has become easier for information to spread globally. Now it is easy to fabricate a tale to be called a hero. The public loves to love someone, but has soon as the reality of who they are comes to light the public can be vicious and tear them apart. Despite that, there are many that do not get enough recognition for being a true hero. We as a people find it easy to idolize the wrong people when the true heros are in front of our faces. The teachers at your school, the police officers on the street and more are all heros in my mind. My mother is a teacher and I consider her a hero because of her grit and perseverance to creating the next generation of brilliant minds. Those are the true heros, not the people playing a character or the fakers we idolize. True heros are the people that never stop trying to make the world better and when they are faced with a challenge, they do not step down, they rise up and create an example for others to follow.

Heroes don't have to have superhuman strength or have x- ray vision. For me, heros are the everyday people that strive to make a better place for the people around them. The examples they set for others are considered way more important to everyone in general than the Greek myths told long ago.