Sunday, November 14, 2010

Curious about Being a Hero: Do You Have Any? What Makes a Hero in Your Mind or Heart?

Definition of Hero: A man of distinguished valor or enterprise in danger, or fortitude in suffering; a prominent or central personage in any remarkable action or event; hence, a great or illustrious person. The principal personage in a poem, story, and the like, or the person who has the principal share in the transactions related; as Achilles in the Iliad, Ulysses in the Odyssey, and Aeneas in the Aeneid.

The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by.” - Felix Adler, German educator

I chose “hero” for this week’s theme for several reasons. First, I am close to finishing Keith Ferazzi’s book, Who's Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success--and Won't Let You Fail. As Ferazzi took me through his relationship journey to success, he became one of my present day heroes. I highly recommend the book. It is filled with so much truth, it almost hurts.

I realized that very few people talk about heroes today. Do you have any?

Secondly, I belong to a group that is voting for those they feel have hero status. Most are from the past and include those like Jefferson, Edison, and even super heroes like Superman. There are three rounds of voting, which I think is a shame because several I chose have been eliminated already.

Besides Ferazzi, I have found many wonderful heroes on the Internet. They are those willing to help others. They share information that works, rather than just makes money for them. And, they are masters of honesty and strong opinions.

I found the hero quotations to be quite different from what I expected. Let me know what you think.
  • Nothing is given to man on earth - struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible - the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen.” - Andrew Bernstein, American philosopher
  • One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.” - May Sarton, American poet
  • See, heroes never die. John Wayne isn't dead, Elvis isn't dead. Otherwise you don't have a hero. You can't kill a hero. That's why I never let him get older.” - Mickey Spillane, American author
  • She was in a difficult position being the widow of a great American hero, a role that carried high expectations but she did a credible job of continuing Dr. King's dream especially in the face of a changing and often hostile American public.” - Morris Dees, American lawyer
  • A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around.” - Edgar Watson Howe, American editor
  • A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” - Gilbert K. Chesterton, English writer
  • A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” - Christopher Reeve, American actor
  • My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don't really know what's happening down there. Who is the real hero?” - Mitch Hedberg, American comedian

And, of course, some more:

  • It's kind of ironic that the two sports with the greatest characters, boxing and horse racing, have both been on the decline. In both cases it's for the lack of a suitable hero.” - Dick Schaap, American journalist
  • It's silly to say it about a tennis player, but I'm an unbelievable hero in Germany. And Germany needs heroes more than any place.” - Boris Becker, German athlete
  • Love of glory can only create a great hero; contempt of glory creates a great man.” – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, French diplomat
  • Luck is everything... My good luck in life was to be a really frightened person. I'm fortunate to be a coward, to have a low threshold of fear, because a hero couldn't make a good suspense film.” - Alfred Hitchcock, English director
  • Muhammad Ali is a combination of personality and athlete who is probably better known around the world than any other. He became a great hero.” - Will McDonough, American writer
  • Dr. Martin Luther King is not a black hero. He is an American hero.” - Morgan Freeman, American actor
  • Eisenhower was my war hero and the President I admire and respect most.” - Ethel Merman, American actress
  • Hard times don't create heroes. It is during the hard times when the 'hero' within us is revealed.” - Bob Riley, American politician

And, a couple to take home with you:

A hero is somebody who is selfless, who is generous in spirit, who just tries to give back as much as possible and help people. A hero to me is someone who saves people and who really deeply cares.” - Debi Mazar, American actress

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell, American author

So, if I asked you who are your heroes and why, what would be your answer or answers? What designates someone as a hero for you? I would love to hear from you.