For some time, the concept of “hero” has been percolating within my mind. What is a hero? What defines one? Who is one? With the anniversary of the horrific events of 9/11 being remembered today, I couldn’t help but consider the concept again.
I recently was invited to guest post for Alon Shalev‘s blog, http://www.elfwriter.com/, an exciting opportunity that I’m grateful for, and the focus of that article is why we are drawn to heroes.
(Update: Alon posted this article on his other blog, Left Coast Voices. Follow the link there: http://leftcoastvoices.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/reflections-of-heroes-joshua-p-smith/ Thanks, Alon, and congratulations on your 2013 Eric Hoffer YA Award Winner!)
For this post, I want to take a moment to remember all kinds of heroes. Throughout the next few months, I’ll be posting articles about people–both past and present–who in some way have earned the title hero.
Without a doubt, some of the most remarkable heroes alive are those men and women in the military, or police, firefighters, EMTS, doctors and nurses. These people are heroes. Why?
I believe that the concept of a hero is a person who faces tremendous odds, obstacles that both threaten their safety and the status quo, the well-being and lives of both those who are the hero and other people. Eric Metaxas, in his book, 7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness, raises the idea that heroes are role models, people we can emulate. They are those who sacrifice something of great value, who face fear yet find the courage to do the right thing, despite potential great cost. These are things that all of the before mentioned men and women encounter every day, day after day. With great fortitude and steadfastness they meet these challenges.
Heroes are human, too. They aren’t perfect, just like all of us they have faults, they make mistakes, sometimes they do falter, even for a moment, but whenever they do, they do not allow themselves to be defeated. Rather, they rise up to meet the next challenge. The greater obstacle. They keep going, despite the fear, the obstacle, the mistakes, the situation, the uncertainty, the great risk, they sacrifice something of themselves. Just like the heroes of 9/11 and those that continue to this day. And they have something to teach us.
Whom do you consider a hero? Do you have one you would like me to blog about–or would you like to guest blog? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know, or post a comments!