The term hero can be taken to have different meaning to each and every distinct individual. If we were to have every person defining the term hero we will come up with definitions that are peculiar to each and every individual.
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Elizabeth Berg’s definition of a hero is quiet interesting. To her, a hero is not that person who has been glorified in the society for his or her mighty deeds. Character wise a hero should be that person who is calm and does not have those stardom qualities that are a characteristic of most heroes that are worshiped in the society. Bergs definition is different to that one found in the dictionary that defines a hero as a person with exceptional qualities or one idolized by the society. Berg supports her own understanding of the term hero by telling us how certain people have inspired her. Her grandfather was humorous and could make a friend out of a stranger. Her teacher Mrs. Zinz was humble for she lowered herself to the level of the students. On the other hand, I think that a hero should be a person who possesses unique qualities of compassion, sympathy, intelligence and courage. A hero therefore, should be a person who is known for his or her compassionate deeds. Heroes should be people who carry themselves with dignity, honor and make the correct choices.
A hero should be a person who has compassion for life. He must be able to sympathize with the sorry situations of those people in society who are unfortunate in the society. Martin Luther King Jr was a hero for he decided to fight for the rights of the black person in the American society. There was so much racial prejudice in the American society and Martin Luther king Jr sympathized with his fellow black men. He was a clergy man and therefore he was on the fore front during the period of the civil rights movement. For him to become a hero he sympathized with the situation of the black people who were treated as lesser human beings. His Christian background could have influenced his compassionate nature.
A hero should be an intelligent person in the eyes of the public. Frederick Douglas a Black abolitionist was able to learn and get education only by observing the writings of the white children and the men whom he worked with. During this time of slavery it was considered a grievous mistake on the part of the Black person to read. This was punishable by death. Douglas was on the fore front to condemn slavery because he had read and therefore exposed to new way of thinking that made him to question the institution of slavery.
A hero should exhibit a character of bravery. A cowered person cannot be considered to be a hero. Martin Luther King Jr died for his acts of bravery. Rosa Parks was a courageous character; by refusing to give up her seat for a white person in a bus. There was so much racial segregation such that Rosa Parks act was considered a civil punishable offence. Parks action precipitated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Because of this act of bravery Parks is up to now viewed as a heroic national figure.
Heroes are great people capable of making the right choices. Abraham Lincoln was a hero for he made the bold decision of ending slavery despite the fact that during this period America was experiencing a devastating civil war.
In a nutshell heroic figures should be compassionate and sympathetic just like Martin Luther King Jr. A hero should not be devoid of courage; for Rosa Parks to be considered a hero she had to perform an act of bravery. In history almost all heroic figures exhibit characteristics of bravery. A hero should be an intelligent person because heroes most of the time carry the weight and aspirations of the people. Frederick Douglas had to gain education in a cunning way. This in turn provided him with an opportunity to be on the forefront in the antislavery movement.
Elizabeth Berg.My Heroes