The real American hero goes unappreciated. This is because off the confusions created by the American social semantics. Most of the Americans do not differentiate the terms hero and celebrity. This is reflected in the way celebrities such as O.J Simpsons and other popular public figures easily achieved hero status. Even though these celebrities perform great exploits, such achievements cannot be termed as heroism.
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The real hero in America is the ordinary citizen going through great odds and overcoming through the strength of personal character. Such heroes include the teachers, nurses, the firemen, the police and other ordinary Americans who perform heroic but unappreciated deeds. Therefore heroism is more about character than skills.
The lack of knowledge on who is the real hero emanates from the limited semantic ability of the larger American society. Americans do not differentiate the meaning between the terms hero and celebrity. Actually, and quite wrongly, the term hero is masked by the term celebrity. Most of he American celebrities are taken to be great heroes. There is no denying that so many celebrity sportsmen, musicians, actors and politician have performed extra ordinary exploits.
Such figures as O.J. Simpsons boxing achievement will always stand out as one of the greatest sports achievements of all times. O.J. Simpsons as well as others of his ilk easily achieved celebrity status due to their great exploits. These celebrities however, fall short when faced with great challenge that requires the strength of character rather than the employment of their talent and skills to overcome. During such moments, such celebrities have failed terribly confirming that heroism is more about character than skills.
This does not mean that the American society is devoid of real heroes. Actually there are so many heroes in the current American society, only that they go unnoticed and unappreciated. These people live remarkably sober and undramatic lives. They may not be talented or possess extra ordinary and enviable skills but portray such inestimable character traits as boldness, fearlessness, proficiency, the nerve, courageousness and resilience in times of great need. These people do not have the urge to exceed and outshine others at any cost.
However, they they have the desire to surpass any challenge in offering selfless service to others. They are the teachers who have become parents to their student, the police who risk their lives in the name of national security, terminally ill patients gladly appreciating the value of life, the caregivers who take care of such patients, surrogate parents and the fire fighters who save awestruck strangers in the face of calamity.
Actually the list is endless. Such people survive on the spirit and the commitment to make the society a better place. They are undeterred by the fact that they are not unappreciated. As such they become the real heroes in America.
Confusing the hero and the celebrity means that skills and talent is much more celebrated in American than the possession of precious character traits. Celebrity means the employment of skills and talent for recognition, which has been taken to mean heroism. However, the real heroes live unappreciated. These are the people who posses the extra ordinary characters such as bravery, selflessness and resilience. Thus character rather than skills and talents define heroism.