Greetings, fellow castaways.
This week, let's look at more heroes, examining the Hero Type.
I've said before that heroes are no more than ordinary people, placed in extraordinary circumstances, that simply decide that those circumstances are not going to be the end of them.
But I've come to know that defining "Hero" is a whole lot more complicated than that. I've seen heroes who are born to the role. When I see a two-year-old place himself between his sister and danger, there's more to that "hero" thing than ordinary people. I don't know of too many toddlers who would face down who he sees as a giant wielding a knife against his sister, even if I was only showing her that a knife means "owie," and to stay away from owies.
We see heroes in our warriors, who wouldn't normally do what we're asking them to do, in that they volunteer to be subjected to unimaginable fear and violence, to place themselves between evil and the innocent.
We see them in police and firefighters, who go to work every day with no guarantee they'll make it home for supper that night.
But heroes aren't always those action stars of our world. We also see heroes in those who take stands politically or socially. Little old ladies who sit on buses. People who challenge the norms of our very society, who make us rethink our own paradigms. Teachers who inspire greatness in their students. My high school physiology teacher remains to this day one of my greatest heroes, because he not only made complex systems simple to understand, but he excited us all with the minute workings of the human body. My junior high school speech teacher was 4-foot-6, but she drove us to tackle ogres and giants of stage fright and performance fears.
I write about heroes who charge through flames, fight the bad guys, storm the mountain fortress, rescue the princess, and even heroes who cook fabulous dinners, research the answer, pull cures for diseases out of their hats, and lead investigations. But these are only a small portion of the true heroes of our world.
I believe, now that I think of it, that a better definition of "hero" is "One who inspires greatness in others, through thought or through deed." That opens up a whole lot of room for heroes.