What makes a Hero?

Heroes, an archetype that is so common throughout culture and history. Be they people in real life who others see as heroes, or the fictional kind which I shall be discussing in this article. The fictional kind of heroes seem more popular than ever in this current day and age, with a large amount of movies these days containing Superheros and larger than life actions. But, given they are so popular what are hero’s made of?

The fictional sort of hero vary greatly in what they are able to do power wise. Be they Neo in the Matrix, Harry Potter or any of the pantheon of Marvel and DC superheros. They can do so many different things, and have amazing powers be they in technology, magic, fighting or in some cases simply being nigh invulnerable like Superman.

But when it comes to their physical powers, these could also all be assigned to villains. Who are often highly powerful in their own right, just with very different personalities and intentions. So, given the physical powers just make someone powerful, not nessercarily a hero, it would stand to reason it is their personalities and the virtues they emulate that make these characters heroes instead.

And this is very good news to us everyday people, as we have the ability to look up and aspire to the virtues that heroes demonstrate. As unfortunately being able to fly is still something that will remain impossible.

Below I have listed a few of the virtues and character traits that a lot of hero’s have. The sort that can be emulated in normal life.

  • Courage: Heroes are often always courageous. They stand up for what they believe in no matter what risks that brings. While others run, they move in to try and fix the problem
  • Vigilance: Heroes are often aware of what is going on around them, they pay attention to their surroundings and have situational awareness, so that they are able to notice threats when they arrive.
  • The ability to sacrifice: Heroes are able to sacrifice things in the short term, for the long term goals. They are willing to suffer in the short term if it will bring around good later down the line.
  • Resisting the urge to justify inaction: Heroes do not spend time finding reasons not to act. They simply do it, following the mindset of “If not me, then who?”
  • Preparedness: This is where I would count their physical strength. As to be able to act heroically, you need to both be physically and mentally prepared. All the good intentions in the world do little good, if you are not used to stress and break under the pressure. Or lack the simple strength to lift something off someone for example.

While it takes time, and practice to hone your own capacity for heroism. It is very much worth it in the long term, as you will become the Hero of your own life story. Nothing will grant you more confidence in life than being able to stand up for what you believe is right, and besides if you do not act, who will?

Published by Duncan Hookey

A British/Canadian writer who writes about various topics related to how to make the most out of life.

2 thoughts on “What makes a Hero?

    1. Those are great too, will likely do more on the flesh and blood kind of role models and their importance in time.,


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