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Community or society

The question of what makes a hero is one that has been debated upon for ages. There has never really been any consensus on what makes a person a hero or what attributes a hero must necessarily have. There are silent heroes who receive no honor, recognition or glory but move about their daily lives without even a newspaper article written about them. On the hand, there are the heroes who are larger than life and whose pictures are shown everywhere. Yet the question on whether or not these people are actually heroes remain.

It must be remembered that in coming to terms with the concept of being a hero the attributes of both these types of heroes must be examined. The first and most commonly known hero is the person who is glorified and immortalized by the media. These are heroes because they are glorified and portrayed by the media as such. While their deeds may not seem as heroic as some, with enough media exposure they seem to be the godsend of humanity. This is not, of course, to discount the fact that they have in fact contributed some good to their community or society.

The pattern that can be seen among these types of heroes is the fact that they are selected by the media. It seems therefore these days that every act of generosity when magnified through media exposure seems to actually larger than it actually is. While it is argued that their heroism comes from the fact that no matter how small the magnanimous act is it has served to inspire the rest of mankind, it still does not suffice to count as something truly heroic.

A perfect example of this would be the so called charity and generosity of media icons such as the celebrities and athletes who endorse products but are also spokespersons for the human race. While it is not to say that some of them possess truly heroic attributes, one must also examine the circumstances surrounding their so called heroic deeds. Battling adversity and emerging from a rough neighborhood to become a media idol or even an athletic superstar, these people do indeed seem like heroes especially when they give back to the community. Yet, are these people really heroes in the true sense of the word?

There was a time when there was no media to advertise every heroic deed that was done. Instead, a hero was just known as such from his deeds that were told as tales by actual witnesses who saw the person doing the act. These people were not inspired or motivated by the publicity but were in fact heroes in the true sense of the word. Motivated by something greater than themselves and emerging as heroes for humanity. A true hero does not seek glory or honor. A true hero fights for what is right and sacrifices everything for a cause, for humanity. These are the attributes that the second and less know type of heroes possess.

They do acts of charity and good because they are motivated by something else. Whatever it is that may motivate them is not known but it is certain that is not fame and fortune like the media celebrated and perhaps created heroes. When the brave soldiers during the battle of Iwo Jima bravely stood their ground to keep the American flag up they never expected a movie to be made out of that act. They did not expect accolades or awards. They were sacrificing their lives to protect everything the flag stood for. The placed their lives on the line to inspire the other soldiers and patriots on that battlefield.

There was no expectation of any press conference after simply the expectation that they would be able to inspire. As another well known celebrity serves her jail sentence, it comes to mind now whether or not the suffering that will be endured by that celebrity will indeed vault her into media heroism. Chances are, with the correct spin, she will probably be heralded as a brave celebrity who has attained hero status for being brave. The reality comes check when one actually stops to think of how many normal people do that every day. The media does not and cannot create heroes. Heroes just emerge when the time is right.

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