Nov 2, 2009

Heroes.

I suppose this post is the next edition in "things on my mind" posts. I understand going into it that I may well offend people and, yet, here I am. Let's get on with it, shall we? There is much talk, loose talk, of "heroes" in our society today. When someone fights a disease, they are called a hero. When someone is killed in the line of duty, they are called a hero. Teachers are called heroes. Firemen, policemen, doctors, nurses, military people...all called heroes. Some ports figures are called heroes. Some see Michael Jackson as a hero. Or Tiger Woods. Or Barack Obama. I am here to burst these hero bubbles.

To *me, a hero is a person who puts him/herself out there with great risk to life, limb and freedom with no thoughts of personal gain for themselves, including a salary. Don't get me wrong, I have great regard for law enforcement and, in fact, wanted to be a cop for many years. Firefighters and EMTs? Wonderful people. Military personnel? Same thing. Teachers? Way under appreciated and underpaid for what they do. But, in my book, none of these people are heroes. I won't even touch the whole celebrity thing.

A hero acts and does, with no thought to repayment or personal gain, as I said. A hero *reacts on gut instinct, wanting to do what they feel is right in order to save people. Period. They expect nothing in return...not a paycheck, not a reward, not recognition. A few heroes in my book? I'll list them but it's important to note that I can find someone to be a hero and not agree with what they've done. In fact, those may be the greatest heroes of all...those who act to save others even when it might be unpopular. So, my list of the top 10, in no particular order:

1. People who leave gang life *and mentor others who are trying to leave.
2. Adoptive parents who accept "hard to place" children as their own, with pure love.
3. Harvey Milk.
4. The late King Hussein of Jordan.
5. Jesus.
6. Neighbors/passersby who rush into burning buildings/dangerous situations to rescue people.
7. Anyone who shares willingly of what they have with the less fortunate when they don't have a lot themselves *and feels blessed to be able to do so.
8. People who kill abortion doctors because they genuinely feel those doctors are killing babies.
9. Any Hospice volunteer.
10. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anyone have any real heroes to add?

8 comments:

Bella said...

I might have to disagree with you on #8. Does killing someone who is killing others constitute a hero? In my opinion, no. The rest of your list is spot-on, though.

Have a great Monday!

Erin Lutz said...

I have a friend who gave another friend of ours a kidney. She is my hero.

Angel said...

Great post!

Dawn said...

When I saw #8 on your list, I had to read it a few times just to make sure I wasn't reading it wrong.

Then I decided to scroll down and read some of your other posts. Reading your thoughts on abortion helped me to understand (I think) why you listed that.

As for my idea of a hero, I always think of my Taylor as one. I think sometimes she is still hanging on to life on this earth just for me despite any physical pain she has to go through.

Of course, that is just a thought on my part, but sometimes I do have to wonder how she has defied all the odds for so many years.

Very thought-provoking post.

Anemone Pie said...

Bella, and anyone else who questioned #8, I think that sometimes a hero does have to kill. If you saw a 6 month old baby being ripped to shreds on a sidewalk, would you not be more than willing to kill the monster doing this to that baby? As anti-violence and anti-killing in general as I am (and God knows I am, rabidly so), I would kill that person in a heartbeat to save that baby and not give a damn about any legalities that might be involved. Would y'all not do the same? Some people believe that life begins at conception and while I don't feel the same, I have to be honest and say they've got a 50-50 chance of being right. No better or worse odds than I have of being right. If a person *really, in their heart, believes babies are babies, born or unborn, then to kill the person murdering those babies has to be the right and brave thing to do. The heroic thing. I know it's an uncomfortable concept to think about and, as I've said, I'm most certainly not advocating anyone do it because *I* think it's wrong and misguided. But...what if they're right? What if life *does begin at conception? Are they not heroes for saving babies in the same way we'd view the person who kills the monster shredding the 6 month old a hero? I find myself having to say they are and I can respect them far more than people holding up signs that say "Abortion Is Murder" out in front of a clinic.

Anemone Pie said...

Erin, I think that's great you view your friend as a your hero. It's not something I'd have on my list but I can certainly see how many would view her in that way. :-)

Dawn, if you're right about Taylor, then I agree. She is a hero.

Karen said...

I feel that family members who unselfishly give their loved ones body parts for transplant when that loved one's body cannot sustain life are heroes - they are giving to save another life while in a crisis of losing someone they love.

Also believe anyone who *volunteers* their time - be it fireman, EMT, even for big brother/sisters - to help a stranger - they are a hero to me as well....

great post!

Anemone Pie said...

Karen, absolutely, many who volunteer are heroes to me, but I do feel that to be a hero, one's physical well-being has to be in question while doing so. Granted, I'm working off my own definition, though. ;-) As for organ transplants, I completely understand why people not opposed to them would feel that way and can respect that. I just don't feel the same.