Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What It Takes To Be A Hero

Just being kind can make you a hero
By: Elizabeth Lolarga
Philippine Inquirer

As the observance of National Heroes Day approaches, high-school students from the Community of Learners in San Juan City share their thoughts on what heroism is, and how they can go about being heroes in their own small way.

David Yap writes, “Being a hero isn’t that complicated. Doing big things doesn’t make a hero, but being unusually kind and generous gets you there pretty quickly. Heroes are people who are true to themselves, yet can still put others’ needs first. Just simply picking up trash and putting them in the garbage bin or saving a weaker kid from bullies is already the mark of a hero. You don’t have to be big and buff. Nor do you need super strength. Doing simple things where you put others before yourself makes you a hero.”

Kimberly Yu agrees that a simple gesture like “telling someone his or her shoelace is untied can help a lot. Even going to work on time or taking a sick friend’s shift is heroic. Let the old lady or the little kid go first in the bathroom when you’re in a line. These are simple acts of heroism. It would be great to make a habit out of it. Such acts of helping somebody not to trip, pee in their pants or get fired from work may not mean a lot to the world, but they do for certain people.”

Franco Gargantiel writes, “Heroism isn’t all about dying for your country or fighting for freedom and basic rights. It’s also about being a role model for others and doing what’s right. Recycling paper is also significant. Heroism is an act that shows valor and chivalry. It is also found in the smallest acts.

Like his classmates, Junald de Guzman thinks “being a hero doesn’t automatically mean doing something big and being on the cover of newspapers and magazines. Heroism means doing something for someone, or something, whether it’s for a person, an animal or nature itself. A hero isn’t just someone who stops a bank robbery or saves a little boy trapped in a well. A hero is someone who does something for others, even if no one notices it.”

Today´s youth are weaning from Batman, Spider Man, the X-Men, Astro Boy and other comic superheroes, and are casting instead for real, flesh-and-blood heroes who are not imbued with superhuman powers, but with the wisdom to know that a simple act can be converted into an act of heroism. That it is in everyone's possibility to be a hero in his own way.

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