Define a hero

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Whenever the question of who is a hero, arises people tend to think of the extraordinary individuals in historical perspectives such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King Junior. Some tend to think of the heroic movies they have watched and define heroes based on the salvation they brought to the people such as in movies like Thor and Captain America. The definition of a hero based on these concepts considers the favors, the courage, the help and sacrifices these individuals took to help the people who needed them then (Kinsella et al., 2015). Other definitions of a hero also exist for instance an individual of distinguished valor and possess characteristics such as bravery, boldness, daring, intrepidity, courage and prowess in war. However, a hero should be an individual who is different to everyone and can make the impossible things possible. Therefore, the definition of a hero changes depending on the context and time of its use.

A hero to one group of people does not necessarily mean the individual is a hero to another group (Kinsella et al., 2015). For instance, Martin Luther King Junior is considered a hero among the African American community and the people in support for human equity and equality. However, the white supremacists who define superiority based on race do not consider him a hero. He did not fight for them and at the same time went on their quest of superiority complex. Therefore, based on the context Martin Luther King Junior becomes a hero to a group of people who conform to his school of thought.

Furthermore, heroes in most contexts must not be real people but can also be in the form of fantasy figures. For instance, children have an extreme interest in legendary figures based on the fact that they take on the most difficult challenges to save people or change the world through their singular acts of courage and selflessness (Sullivan & Venter, 2005). Therefore, the children look forward to being like the heroes in the stories and gain valuable lessons in self-reliance and survival.

Additionally, heroes are the people who would do everything possible to come out of their situation and become examples for the others to be like them someday. For instance, people living in hardship areas, especially the minorities of people from poor backgrounds and with the determination to succeed often have the desire to triumph that fuels their persistence to success (Sullivan & Venter, 2005). They manage to bring glory to their families and communities thereby, becoming heroes based on the context and time.

In conclusion, there is no perfect definition of a hero but based on the context and time of an individual’s actions or legendary figures deeds various definitions can be reached. Therefore, everyone can become a hero, but people are only distinguished based on their acts and the needs of the others. Therefore, heroes come in various forms based on the challenges, the inspiration and the salvation they bring to others. They will defy all odds and do what is right no matter the situation. Hence, the definition of a hero changes based on context and time of an individual’s actions.

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  1. Kinsella, E. L., Ritchie, T. D., & Igou, E. R. (2015). Zeroing in on heroes: a prototype analysis of hero features. Journal of personality and social psychology, 108(1), 114.
  2. Sullivan, M. P., & Venter, A. (2005). The hero within: Inclusion of heroes into the self. Self and Identity, 4(2), 101-111.
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