We use the word “Hero” fast and loose here in the US. It bothers me and I must argue against. If you do a good deed, you are not a hero. Teachers who help poor children learn are not heroes. Fathers are not heroes to daughters. A person pulled from a burning building was not saved by a hero. That was probably a firefighter or a good Samaritan who did that.
In my mind, it is vital that we distinguish the difference between being an admirable member of our communities and passing out the word Hero: Feel free to use good Samaritan, honest, trustworthy, hard-working, responsible, good-deed-doing, self-sacrificing, and so on.
What is a “hero”? Well, I think you know that as well as I do. It is a person who is not born or made by the virtue of their deeds that get printed on page 3 of the newspaper. We cannot ask Heroes to serve an ideal or even as a role model. No, we must keep our heroes a mystery. A hero does not seek to be identified which is why they do their work behind a cloak without seeking the glory they deserve. It is a way of life that we must keep in our minds as real and trust that it exists without trying so very desperately to identify it and give out a medal or a gold star or a free breakfast at IHOP.
Little boys know this. That is why they are always drawing masks on their super heroes….
There is an aspect of unidentified safety in the invention of childhood superheroes that makes the nightmares bearable. These complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, as part of the dynamic system of our personal safety… and our ability to sleep at night without keeping one eye open. Keep this in mind the next time you tell someone who did a wonderful deed or is wearing a badge of authority that they are a “Hero”. You may have just made their nightmares a little more real.
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