The River's Badge

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Heroes





My friend Julie started a blog in which she talks about overused words.

In recent days, I've thought about one word that seems to be tossed about nonchalantly:  

HERO

In my mind, a hero is someone who risks his or her life to save someone else's.  And, a hero is a person who defends his or her country; who goes to war; who places themselves in harm's way; never questioning whether the cause is right or wrong.   

A survivor is not necessarily a hero.  A survivor is a survivor.

What's wrong with surviving?  

Sad, tragic, incomprehensible things seem to happen every day.  

I'm not trying to be political, so please keep that in mind.  But I'm also not trying to be politically correct.  I'm sick to death of political correctness.  I prefer honesty. 

A Congresswoman is brutally shot, but she survives.  It takes a ton of courage to fight through the fog of a damaged cerebral cortex; to endure the agony of hour upon hour of searing physical therapy.   It takes a backbone of steel to not curl up in a corner and surrender.  

This woman is a survivor.  What's wrong with that?  

Why shouldn't that be celebrated?

A pop culture icon (for once) puts his money where his big mouth is.  He appears before Congress and testifies about an issue he cares passionately about.  He donates part of his overblown earnings to help his cause.  

Is he a hero?  Or is he a "citizen"?  

You and I give money to causes we believe in.  Sometimes we donate our time as well.  Do we call ourselves "heroes"?  And if we do, aren't we being a bit precious and narcissistic?  

I admire true heroes ~ I admire them a hell of a lot.  I don't think I could be one.  I don't know; I've never been tested.  But I don't know if I could run headlong into danger, like the heroes of Boston did.

A hero is a New York City firefighter, who trudged up those stairs, knowing deep in his gut that he probably wouldn't get out alive; but he still did it.

By lumping everyone into the hero category, we dilute the true meaning of heroes.

Every life act is not equal.

Have we replaced "kudos" with "hero"?

Everyone who has survived life's punch in the gut is not necessarily a hero; me included.  

I am a "person".   

Isn't that enough?


















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