What is a Hero?

Sunday Scribblings

Modern usage of the word hero seems to include anyone in the public eye. A football player is a hero; an actor is a hero; a teacher is a hero. Oh, no! The dictionary tells us that a hero is someone of courage, bravery, nobility. How courageous is it to play a game for millions of dollars; to act in a play for millions of dollars; to teach students?

What do I believe a hero is? A hero is a person who puts others’ safety above their own. A hero saves lives, fights wars, battles terrorism.

I was a teacher, and I’m no hero. My father fought in World War II. He was a hero. The policeman on the beat, the fireman who battles flames, our troops who protect our land from our enemies, these are heroes.

Several years ago I had the privileges of introducing my life-long friend, General James T. Scott, who spoke at our local Veterans’ Day celebration. At that time, as there were many school children present, I endeavored to explain what a true hero is. I hope some of them understood. General Scott fought in Vietnam, Granada, and the Gulf War and was in charge of the Army Special Forces when he retired. His life was given to keep our country free. He epitomized the word hero.


Deb Geyer said…
I'm sorry, I do believe that teachers are heroes. They lay down their own lives to help to better others'
Sioux said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sioux said…
I have to comment...I was a teacher for 20+ years, and my mother before me, and so was my husband and many of my friends, and while we did a lot for kids...taught them to read, do math, become more moral, what I was doing was a service, but it was in no way heroic. It helped others, but at no time was I called on to risk life and limb...even when I taught emotionally distrubed boys for 7 years! Sorry, to me teachers, like ministers, doctors, social workers, nurses are helpers but not heros unless they risk their lives for someone.
Brad said…
If I were to ascribe tho your definition of hero- all heroes would be dead.

for a new defintion of hero.
Sioux said…
I believe I described General Scott as a hero who spoke at a celebration. He fought in many wars, but he is certainly not dead.

My father is dead, but he didn't die in a war but in a auto wreck.

I have spoken to fireman, policemen, soldiers, and ordinary people who in some way put their lives on the line and still are alive.

I cannot understand why you assume I could think al heros are dead!

I have read your link, and I still contend that teachers, ordinary educators, are many good things, but their are not heroic because their calling is to teach. They enable their students, support their students, encourage their students, and they teach...but they are not heros.
ren.kat said…
I agree with Deb. I don't think that risking one's physical safety is a requirement for heroic action. There are all kinds of bravery. I don't think most teachers are heroes- many teachers just like being bossy :-), but a few are. A teacher who risks their position of authority by listening and respecting her/his students, but admitting to ignorance and risking ridicule, those are actions rare and worthy of heroes. Not all heroes have to wind up martyrs.
Anonymous said…
This is the 52nd BLOG I've placed a link for regarding the following idea...


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