Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Heroism is in the Eye of the Beholder

By Anonymous

The definition of a hero is an individual who is romanticized for their valor, nobility, bravery, or exceptional accomplishments. However, are these qualities what truly makes a hero and is the anti-hero closer to the definition of a hero? To just behave bravely with noble and good intentions seems to be closer to a Disney version of a hero.

Often enough there are so many controversies to a conflict that the hero has to make ugly discussions on what is best and how to solve the problem. From my own observations of anti-heroes, their sometimes unconventional methods achieve more good than those who are charismatic and charming who run into battle with their best intentions.

If we have learned anything from our history is that more suffering can come from another’s best intentions.

Is that not what the Christian missionaries believed themselves to be doing to the Native Americans, and the Indigenous people of Australia by taking their children away to the missionary schools, cutting their hair, and applying punishments for speaking their own language.

Did they not believe they were doing something good by killing another’s way of life. With that being the case can not a hero just be a person who is fighting for what they believes is right.

Is not Robin Hood considered to be one of the greatest heroes maybe one of fiction but still a great hero. He, time and time again broke the law against a corrupt government by taking it’s wealth and giving it to the people made poor by their own ruling leadership.

I believe a hero is one of those subjects that is far too complicated and complex to define as one thing, and perhaps heroism is in the eye of the beholder.


  1. I agree. The definition of hero is very subjective. This reminds me of the Buddhist tale about the farmer who finds a horse ( good luck), the horse throws his son and breaks his arm (bad luck), the army passes up the son because of the broken arm ( good luck). Is it or isn't it? One of the things that I find exciting about living in today's world is the availability of knowledge and information. With this influx of knowledge, I think that people are looking deeper at old paradigms of what is right and wrong, good and bad. I think that is why the anti-hero has emerged to challenge our ideas about heroism. We tend to consume story's and text with a more rounded view of the world and society and if the story doesn't present itself in the same way, then it's not valid and it wont resonate with people. The antihero resonates because it gives a fuller picture as it what it means to be human and step into the role of rescuer or hero. I think that the archetypes are shifty and that depending on how you view it - one might consider a healer more of a hero than a knight in shining armor. Who is really saving the day and what is saving the day?

  2. i put a quote in my final paper about Indian boarding schools. This is exactly the work i've been working on defining with my father all these decades. the British set up the educational system for their colonies with the intent to instill western values amongst Indians (hindus, etc.) and amongst Arabs, like my father lived through.
    Who controls the information, attempts to control the peoples minds and also show case the desirable archetype of "HERO".
    I'll give an example about the media and Steven Spielburg. He wishes to make a movie that show cases 50000 survivors of the holocaust. From my experience, Hollywood reveals the Holocaust as a Jewish phenomena. Not many people know that there were 2000000 romanians also executed in Nazi camps, to my limited knowledge, there were just as many non jews killed during WWII in Nazi camps as jews. but it seems Hollywood has taken ethnic ownership of this suffering, and forgotten about the rest of the world. similar to how Israel ignores all UN resolutions concerning the 3000000 prisoners of war that it holds in it's Democratic Jewish state. the media machine does a great job of making hero's of those that fight terrorism. Especially when they are SEALs killing little ugly dark people in the name of freedom, flying out of an American airforce base situated in a dictorial run state.
    the USA funds the oppression, and claims to be the ultimate Hero.