What is a Hero? | Teen Ink

What is a Hero?

April 11, 2015
By CEWritingManiac GOLD, Marietta, Georgia
CEWritingManiac GOLD, Marietta, Georgia
10 articles 4 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
" In three words I can sum up everything i've learned about life: It goes on." - Robert Frost

A hero isn’t always wearing a cape, it really starts with a person who is meaningful and impacts the society in a way that people can honor them with great respect. You can be yourself, and still be a hero. Everyone is their own unique person. There are many questions as to what is a hero? What makes a hero? What doesn’t a hero do? All questions can be answered in many different ways. In fact, it begins with what are some of the traits that describe a hero. The first trait would be selfless, another is independent, and lastly there is determined.

There are many words to describe a hero. Out of all traits, one that really stood out was selfless. According to text, “The Wise Old Woman”, the young farmer had helped his aged mother from the meant-to-be death sentence up in the mountains( Doc. E). He and his mother had not only saved themselves but the entire village. Meaning, sometimes putting others before yourself is a good thing. Selflessness can also mean, in some scenarios, being sacrificial. Not to be confused as risk my life, bullet saving, jumping-in-front-a-train type; Some hero’s can sacrifice themselves because they are doing it for you, for others that aren’t themselves.Thinking of 9-11, we know how many people died but we also know how much of sacrificing they had to do considering the people had beloved families. We also know how the firefighters and policemen had tried to save those innocent people. Those moments they showed selflessness and were showing us the people an example of how we should be. Some people can be many things other than selfless including independent.

Anybody can be selfless but some people are more independent than others. In the text, The Giver by Lois Lowry , it explains in many ways how Jonas was more independent. He was not, most definitely, a bragger about this advantage(Doc. A). Being independent means being free, or having freedom. but if you “look” farther you understand that it means you are also wise. I am independent when it comes to making mental and physical choices. For example, I had choose to help my brother when he was injured. Although it is a no brainer to help my brother since we all have instincts that tell us that we should help one another even with his disease that he has I had to help him. Even if that wasn’t the case, I know that helping others with wise choices and your own independent choice is an important trait. On page number 63 of The Giver, the author explained “ The fourth essential attribute,”the Chief Elder said,’is wisdom. Jonas has not yet acquired that. The acquisition will come though his training.’” Lois Lowry just described that independence can also mean wisdom. Doesn’t come right away, yet not too late either.

Determination is key.When you want do something you have at least some type of motivation. In the article “ Love Triumphs” by Ellen Barry, 6-year old Deamonte Love had rescued 5 little kids after the disastrous hurricane Katrina. It takes a lot of determination and gut in order to do such things. Deamonte was determined to have those kids well and safe. Also in, Excerpt from the Odyssey by Homer ( Doc. H), contains “scenes” in which you could say weren’t and were heroic things. One being, Odysseus had bragged and was a bit conceited but in the end he was determined to get all the obstacles out his way to get back home. No matter what the consequences were Odysseus had not lost hope; motivation helped him survive through the obstacles. What if there are determined hero’s, but they only want the fame? A hero doesn’t do whatever they do for fame, they do it with all they are whether it be brave or shy, determined or doubtful.They do things that are comfortable to them. People underestimate who hero’s can and cannot be. They think of masculine, muscle- tough-man sort of type.


Those are stereotypes of what people want to believe in. A hero is both sexes no matter what anyone says.
Instead of “happily ever after” or in conclusion, I look at this as a gateway to a literacy world. A portal that requires you to be ready like the hero’s journey or be cautious of new things. Ends are beginnings to new possibilities. Beginnings are ends to the past. A hero isn’t wearing a cape or has supernatural powers of some sort. They are you, you’re a hero. A hero is selfless, independent, and determined. A hero is sacrificial, wise and motivated. Hero’s are the people in the community you live in, your peers, your parents. Heroism explains to us that there isn’t one thing you can do to be a hero. You can have up to a variety of traits to be a hero.Some have yet to be discovered, but that’s how being a hero works. Looking and trying but not yet wanting to give up.




Document A: The giver
Document E: “A wise old woman”
Document F: “Love triumphs”
Document H: Excerpt from the Odyssey

The author's comments:

What is a hero? This is a question that everyone would like to know. Sometimes you have to realize that they are right in front f you. While some, more than others, are yet to be found.

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