On Heroism

4 Conversations

Heroism is dying in modern society. I'm not yet sure why, as heroes benefit any culture and society. Unfortunately, there aren't any left. Sure, back during the 60's and 70's we had John Glenn and Neil Armstrong and all the others who went to the Moon. Today we have no nationally televised heroes who stay in the minds of the population for more than a week or two. I find it very disappointing that the only heroes in our society today are the ones in movies and books. And nobody tries to be like them at all. Imagine what our society could do if even one in a thousand people aspired to be a hero and change the world, to make a legend of themselves.

Everybody has their own personal heroes today, but they are strictly amateurs. No legends, no exaggerated deeds, no impossible odds fought against. Just a few lives touched in some special way with just the right amount of publicity. Nothing more in all but a few cases. Sadly, no exceptions come to mind right now.

Society doesn't even have its fair share of small scale heroes. Sure, you've met a nice guy who's offered to carry your groceries to the car, or has given you a jump when your car wouldn't start. But when was the last time somebody did something even mildly heroic for you that impressed numerous people? When was the last time you were one of those numerous people who was impressed? I bet you can't say.
Now, don't get me wrong. In light of the recent tragedy in New York City, I can't say our society is entirely devoid of heroes, but it took a great disaster to bring them out of the masses. There are two questions which I can pose to you about them. How many names do you remember? How many names were even mentioned by the media?

I can't just rave forever about the lack of heroes in our society without giving a reason for it. It's because society itself discourages heroism. You can't kill a pitiful excuse for a human who just raped a woman, because you will be arrested for murder. Perhaps the people trying you will sympathize with you, but you will almost certainly be convicted and sentenced to a term in prison. You can't even beat the crap out of them without getting in trouble for assault. Most men have no sense of true chivalry, and honour is dead in most people. And worst of all, nobody seems to care.

If you're insulted by this, if you think you are honourable and chivalrous, do something about it! Go out and become a hero. Change the world. The next time you see someone do something cruel to someone else, be it words of actions, pull them aside and at the very least give them a stern talking to. It is time that we stop putting up with jerks in society, and give others heroes to believe in.

I have a story to tell about why I wrote this, and about why I now believe that heroism should make a comeback. I was at a co-ed campout with boy and girl scouts from the U.S.A. and Canada. During the evening, some friends and I were walking along talking to some girls, when this guy comes up to one of them and knocks her hat off for no reason, then laughs and begins to walk away. My exact words were:
'Was that a guy or a girl?'

Her response:
'A guy.'

'He's dead.'

I then took off after him at full tilt. He heard the exchange, and began to run. I chased him across half the camp, a good 400 yards, and hit him hard.
'Don't ever do that again.'

I said. When I returned to my group, they were all quite impressed. I must say that what I did was completely out of character for me, but it felt right at the time, and I have no regrets about it. Everyone was impressed, the kid learned a lesson, and I got an instant reputation as something like 'the guy who chased a kid down for knocking a girl's hat off.' Not very impressive, but a start.

Now that I have been turned on to heroism, I don't intend to stop. I will no longer put up with people who pick on those weaker than themselves, or insult a woman's honour. I simply won't.


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