Of all the definitions I found on heroism, my favorite was “someone who displays great courage.”
When I was a freshman in college, I had a literature course that required us to study different famous heroes from the past. We studied Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, John F. Kennedy, Anne Frank and many others. It was interesting to learn about the qualities these leaders displayed. I didn’t recognize at the time but there are many common myths and misconceptions about what it takes to be a hero. One common myth is that heroism requires a certain super-human quality. But we all know that not to be true.
Heroes are just ordinary people who display extraordinary courage.
Think about the people you consider heroes in your life. What makes them a hero to you? What type of person are they? What kind of influence have they had in your life? One thing you will recognize is that heroes are just regular people who came from the same Creator as us. A hero could simply be a mother who bears a child, a pastor who teaches spiritual truths, a father who raises his children, a teacher who molds young minds, a doctor who saves lives, a soldier who fights for our freedom, a teenager, a factory worker, a child, an athlete, a cancer patient, the list could go on and on. The point is, we all have the ability to display heroism. Heroism is not limited to a profession, a gender, a language, an age group or a nationality. It simply comes down to courage.
This is a clip from one of my favorite movies, Freedom Writers. This scene appears at the end of the movie when Hilary Swank (the teacher) invites a Holocaust survivor to speak to her class.
It doesn’t take a special kind of person to be a hero; but heroes are special people.
When I think about the heroes in my life, they display qualities such as character, integrity, love, servant leadership and passion. We have the ability to develop the skills necessary to become a hero. I love that! Knowing that we have control over our influence and the difference we can make in the lives of others is so motivating. In LIFE founder George Guzzardo’s recent blog post, he says, “one big secret of motivation from great leaders is their ability to find something they can be discontent with.” I believe many people become heroes because they have mastered their sources of motivation. In a sense, they are never satisfied in areas of importance.
I believe heroism is a just a classy word for the term servant leadership.
Servant leaders have a heart for people and they have a heart for change. They are ‘others’ focused and they are influential in their actions. Any person who displays the qualities of a servant leader are heroes in my mind. One of my favorite lines from Freedom Writers was, “I did what I had to do because it was the right thing to do.” It takes a lot of courage to do the right thing, especially in today’s world. So many people are simply doing what’s popular or what’s comfortable. There is a nationwide epidemic in leadership. We see it in schools, churches, families, government, places of work, etc. I am so excited for Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille’s future best selling book ‘Leadershift’ to be released in April. I believe it will be the type of book that will stir the hearts of American’s to finally stand up and lead and become the heroes God created us to be.
Who are the heroes in your life and what was it that qualified them as heroes to you? Feel free to share in the comments section below.
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” Romans 15:1-2