In quest for a hero (or heroine)

This article is entirely written in the masculine for simplicity’s sake. Women are just as capable of being heroes as men

Define a hero.8874cowboy-and-sunset-posters.jpg

I’ve spent all of last month reading old Louis L’Amour western novels, and my head is full of nothing but horses, shoot outs, brand loyalty and cattle rustling. And cowboys… never forget the cowboys. In every good western, there’s a hero; a troupe of bad guys (usually cattle rustlers) and a girl worth rescuing. It’s escapism; we know it, we love it, and by God do we wish that it happened.

So who’s a hero? Does he have to be strong, and have to be fast and have to be fresh from the fight? Is he a street-wise Hercules, or a white knight upon a fiery steed? Heck, I’ve been holding out for a hero for all my life and I still haven’t found one yet. Maybe I’ve been looking in the wrong places.

So let’s find one. But first, let’s define a hero. According to wikipedia, a hero is a character that, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage and the will for self-sacrifice, that is, heroism, for some greater good, originally of martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence. What a lot of blah.

What is a hero? I asked this question to a lot of people, and some of the more prominent replies I’ve given at the end of the article, but they all boiled down to putting others before oneself, great bravery, and good looks (a priority with girls, I noticed); and the need to make a difference, no matter how small. To the average person like me and you, heroes are people who defy all odds; who aren’t afraid to rise against society’s norms if necessary. They’re willing to stand for their ideals, and die for them, and who don’t stop pursuing their beliefs.

But to my criminally intelligent 10 year old niece, a hero is just a creation. He’s something we make out of an ordinary person who probably did the right thing in extraordinary circumstances. A lot of us aren’t heroes because we never had to be, or let’s just say we’re potential heroes, every one of us. We just need to rise to the opportunity.

So maybe the Hero, the god-like being that we read about and wish to find in some lonely alley when we’re surrounded by drunken louts, does exist, but only for a little while, when absolutely necessary, and then disappears again to mediocrity. Heroism is a spark within anybody that just shines, out of the blue, when you least expect it but need it the most. A hero isn’t a permanent state; and neither is villainy. Sigh, I wish life was more black and white.

So where do we find him? You tell me. In Ayn Rand’s novels, tales of the Round Table, old western movies or Greek mythology; you can get them a dime a dozen. But let’s look for heroes in newspapers, the streets, casuperman.jpgmpus and daily life. And real living heroes please, because the trouble with us as a nation, is that we find heroes after they’re dead; because then they cease to be human. And they cease to make mistakes, and we cease to remember the mistakes that they actually had made in their lifetimes. We worship the dead, and ignore the living. Our heroes are figments of our imagination. They’re not real; they may have been alive once, but they were never what we make them out to be now.

Now then, who’s looking?

Here’s what actual people said about heroes:

According to Aliya Ansari, a hero has a hot body, green eyes, jet black hair and can fly. So with you there, girl….

Furhan Hussain said, and I quote, that a he’s “someone you feel is so superior to you that you want to be like him…you almost have a weird attraction towards them. Having a hero is just a lame excuse to stop working on having an identity of your own”

Hariss Amin defines a hero as “somebody who wins his life from his ownself”.

According to Haris Jafri: “there are two types of heroes; recognized and unrecognized. Recognized heroes are those that help you when you most need it. Unrecognized ones help you when you don’t realize that you actually needed them.

Ali Hakeem says a hero gets girls and is famous for it as well.

But for Haris Hanif, a hero is someone who has a whole lot of powers, but still wants to use them to help others, he’s somebody who doesn’t need to be recognized, because whatever he does, it’s not for himself. That’s why superheroes wear masks.

Shazia’s married her’s. How’s that for luck?

A lot of people (Ali Haroon and Hassan Essani, for example) just named themselves, and they’re probably not wrong either.

Add your definition. What do you think makes a hero? And who in your opinion is a real life hero?

5 Replies to “In quest for a hero (or heroine)”

  1. he’s somebody who doesn’t need to be recognized, because whatever he does, it’s not for himself.

    what a load of bull!

    u wear red underwear on top of your skintight leggings only when you have an attention seeking disorder of the highest class.

  2. Well, it’s not easy to correctly define heroes, each and every person has got his/her own standards for heroes but for me you should search your heroes in yourselves. The problem with us is that we rely on others, we rely on politicians, the lawyers, the generals, the leaders and search our heroes in these people but the actual heroe that can take you to the highest peaks of success is nothing but ‘you’. Know yourself and find your identity..

  3. Well I have to say I agree with the 10 year old! Heroes really are ordinary people that do ordinary things in extraordinary circumstances. The old west’s heroes were nothing more than the men and women who had the courage to face the unknown, to eck a living out of the wilderness and tp do what they felt was right no matter the cost.

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