My True Hero
What do you classify as a hero? Is it a movie star? An athlete? Or in my case, people who put their lives on the line for public safety. When I was about five years old I “looked up” and saw that big shiny badge. I wanted to be a fireman. I “looked up” to them and acknowledged what they did, I thought it was so cool to be able to go into the scene of a fire and rescue people. Then probably at the age of seven I thought the athletes and movie stars were the true heroes. They made so much money and they were on the TV all the time, but were they the true heroes? Do they put their lives on the line for the safety of others? No, they are just promoting their selves. I often began to realize that sports are not everything. That the athletes aren’t the true heroes. Granted they can be good role models.
According to an online dictionary “hero” is defined as “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” I believe that any person, who is willing to give their life or sacrifice something to be able to help or save some one else, is a true hero. People fighting for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan risk their lives every day to establish democracy their. In the September 11th attacks, so many police officers, firefighter, and paramedics lost their lives just searching for survivors. The people on United 97 gave their lives so that their plane would not hit another building. All of these people are true heroes. I believe that in today’s society, too many people look up to rich athletes and famous superstars, and that people do not give enough credit to the people who risk their lives for our safety. Umberto Eco said that “ A real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everyone else.” This to me is like a police officer or a firefighter they are paid to do their job and don’t realize they are heroes. It is part of their every day lives. This is why I believe that our every day heroes are the people who risk their life to save the lives of others. Or they run into a burning building just to save someone they don’t know. These are the true heroes.
Now I no longer “look up” to firefighters and police officers because I am six feet tall. But I admire their bravery and courage and I hope that when my chance comes, I am a hero not a coward.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.