Heroism is a central concept in numerous fables and stories. Nevertheless, there is a place for heroism in real life, with heroic acts gaining widespread recognition and being celebrated. However, there are also small everyday deeds of heroism and people who engage in lifelong heroism whose actions are rarely as broadly recognized. This essay is dedicated to the qualities shared by heroes and how to identify them in one’s life.
Heroism is a unique concept that is widely praised in society. It can be defined as a voluntary act of a socially significant value performed with the recognition of hardships and risks (Von den Hoff et al., 2019). Thus, a hero is a person who behaves in accordance with that definition and commits acts that benefit others regardless of the risk. According to Cherry (2020), individuals who engage in heroic actions share a number of qualities in common, including bravery, courage, protectiveness, moral integrity, self-sacrifice, and selflessness. Furthermore, heroes often exhibit such qualities as conviction, determination, helpfulness, honesty, and moral strength (Cherry, 2020). Thus, heroes can be viewed as persons with a strong moral compass and concern for others. These qualities lead to them being able to conquer their fears for their health and safety and act in a manner beneficial to others. Therefore, it can be argued that a hero might be recognized through their actions. If a person’s acts align with their moral convictions and are ready to face the challenges and consequences of their efforts, that person can be considered a hero.
In summary, heroes, heroism, and heroic actions are not concepts exclusive to the world of fiction. Heroes share several characteristics that help distinguish them from others, including a firm moral conviction, bravery, determination, and selflessness. These individuals commit acts of heroism that can help others regardless of the potentially hazardous effect they may have on their life and health. Overall, a hero is a person of a strong and virtuous character.
Cherry, K. (2020). The key characteristics of heroes. Verywell Mind.
Von den Hoff, R., Asch, R. G., Aurnhammer, A., Bröckling, U., Korte, B., Leonhard, J., & Studt, B. (2019). Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms: Transformations and conjunctures from antiquity to modernity. Foundational concepts of the collaborative research centre SFB 948. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen, 5, 9–16.