What Makes a Hero? Part 2 or 2

In Conclusion, I think there are heroes around us every day. We just don’t notice them because they don’t fit the average definition of a hero.

The Oxford Dictionary says a hero is “a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities: [for example] a war hero.

The Urban Dictionary offers seven definitions and some may surprise you. Here are three of them:

2. A hero is someone who gets a lot of OTHER people killed.

3. Someone who helps without anything expected return. Their gesture may be big or small, profound or not, it doesn’t make im’ any less of a hero.

6. A man or woman willing to sacrifice themselves to help others without the consideration of their own safety.

I think the policeman who risks his life to save others; the fire fighter who runs into a burning building to save another person; the soldier who risks life and limb to save his fellow buddies in combat are the easy heroes to identify.

But I’m not talking about these heroes.  I’m talking about the mothers and fathers who get up and go to jobs that may not pay much, are tedious, boring but do it anyway because that’s what it takes to put food on the table and pay the rent. And I’m talking about the mothers and fathers who—no matter how tired they are after a long day at work—are involved in their child’s life; know what that child is doing at school; supports the teachers and spends quality time every day in meaningful conversation with his or her child. That might mean turning the TV off and hiding the iPod, and video games and smartphones.

A hero might be a homeless person who finds a wallet/purse with thousands of dollars in it and returns it to the owner without taking a cent. When honesty is carried to that extreme, isn’t that also an example of heroism?

I think some heroes are individuals who stand up in public and dare to speak out against popular, political correctness [I’m not talking about uneducated opinions] knowing they may face harsh criticism from political/religious groups that disagree with them. Instead, he or she stands firm on his or her beliefs and refuses to be bullied—as long as he or she is not acting out of ignorance and/racism and knows what he or she is talking about.

An example of this type of hero would be Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student who was shot in the head by the Taliban after speaking out for education rights for girls, because every country; every culture has its own brand of political/religious correctness, but that doesn’t mean it is right.

What do you think it takes to be a hero?

Return to or start with What Makes a Hero? Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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