There are wonderful people in our cultures who contribute significantly to their communities. Societies have means of recognizing those individuals and encouraging others to imitate them. These people are heroes. Heroes are people in a society who have done something commendable in society, leading society to believe that these people should be respected and adored (Keczer et al, 1). It is important to remember that the meaning or classification of a hero is based on the rules, traditions, and values of a particular culture, as well as taboos. Heroes come in various shapes and sizes, and they have people of all ages and genders. However, in the modern society and new civilization ideals have resulted in the change in the roles of our heroes.
Nowadays people who have done our societies any slight good are considered to be our heroes. The definition of heroes and criteria used to brand them have lost its value. For instance, an athlete who attempts to run or through a javelin for the first time and luckily win is brand as a hero. In my opinion, this is not a true hero. Therefore, there is a great need to determine who is a true hero in our society so as we can use their achievement to model our visions and objectives in life. This can be achieved by describing the characteristics of a true hero.
According to Nietzsche, there are several constituents or elements that make a hero which includes the fact such a person must be brave, an inspiration to others and life-affirming. On the other hand, in their book “European Heroes: Myth, Identity, Sport“ Pierre, Richard & Mangan describes a true hero as a person that is widely admired due to their great achievements as well as their noble qualities. In addition, the three authors proceed to describe a true hero as an individual who is highly committed to assisting people in need, risking their lives to save lives regardless of the number of lives saved. These people are praised by societies due to their bravery, selflessness as well as their acts of going beyond their beyond the expected limit of a person’s consciousness.
True heroes can come from all fields of life. In the modern society, the young generation can only read of true heroes in the books, people like Martin Ruther king of the United States and Mahatma Gandhi of India are an example of true heroes (Tiefenbrun, 255). This is because this person did extraordinary services and sacrifices for the benefit of their societies. The actions of this great leaders cost them their lives. In addition, the other true heroes can be found from comic books, fictional movies though not real, and even on our day to day activities from people who nearly sacrifice their lives to accomplish a certain noble act.
It also good to note that despite their extraordinary or extraneous characteristics, true heroes share same values with their followers. This is because both the hero and followers share the similarity of a higher guidance at all times of need, code of honor which the heroes and their followers live by as well as the fact that both the hero and society are under pressure to emerge as victorious and role models that are successful. On the other hand, there a big difference between true heroes and life superheroes that are now common on TV (Lang, Jeffrey, & Trimble. 157). In many times, the fantasy of the superheroes.
For instance, there a big difference between the accomplishments of a true hero, Mahatma Gandhi who selflessly fought for India’s freedom and the life superhero, Superman, who is common on our TVs. This superman seems to accomplish many fantasy acts that are not possible on earth such as flying to save people on a falling building or use hand to put off a huge fire blazing a tower with over 3000 people in efforts to save their lives. These are great and heroism acts from a superman but this is not a true hero. On the other hand, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned, tortured and even put his life online to deriver Indians from colonization. Mahatma was a true hero (Rachel, 349).
From the Mahatma Gandhi’s example, it is clear that the acts of true heroes affect their society as compared to that of a fictional one that can only end up misleading the viewer. For instance, people try to emulate the movies’ superheroes through adopting their dress code and also attempt to fight crime as these fictional superheroes do. In the United States, other examples of true hero apart from Martin Ruther King are the people who risked their lives during the 9/11 tragedy such as the firemen as well as the police officers who went beyond their ordinary calling to risk and even lose their lives so as to save lives (Laura, 19). Their acts can be distinctly contrasted with those of their counterparts who were seen running for their lives as a result of fear and terror.
In conclusion, true heroes can be described as people who are brave and inspirational as a result of their invaluable and extraordinary acts that end up saving lives or achieving something great for their society. In addition, from the above discussion, it is evident that definition of true heroism differs from on society to the other. This discuss has revealed that in the world today, we have numerous past great heroes who we cannot be forgotten. In addition, it is also evident that the modern society is also producing true heroes who the current generation can identify with. Furthermore, the discussion on true heroism has revealed that there is a new category of life superheroes that is presented through fictional modes. A true hero can be a good role model to our society which life superheroes can largely mislead our population and especially the youths.
Dwyer, Rachel. “The case of the missing Mahatma: Gandhi and the Hindi cinema.” Public Culture 23.2 (2011): 349-376.
Friedrich, Nietzsche. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None. Penguin Books. 1891.
Keczer, Zsolt, et al. Social Representations of Hero and Everyday Hero: A Network Study from Representative Samples. PLoS ONE, 2006.
Lanfranchi, Pierre, Richard Holt, and James Anthony Mangan, eds. European heroes: myth, identity, sport. Routledge, 2013.
Lang, Jeffrey S., and Patrick Trimble. “Whatever happened to the Man of Tomorrow? An examination of the American monomyth and the comic book superhero.” The Journal of Popular Culture 22.3 (1988): 157-173.
Shepherd, Laura J. “Veiled references: Constructions of gender in the Bush administration discourse on the attacks on Afghanistan post-9/11.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 8.1 (2006): 19-41.
Tiefenbrun, Susan. “Semiotics and Martin Luther King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.” Law & Literature 4.2 (1992): 255-287.