What Is A Hero (Essay Sample)

What Is A Hero?

A hero is an individual who is recognized through his behaviors that are emotionally and ethically worthy of our astonishment. Also, a hero refers to an individual who literally works to combat hardship through feats of bravery, ingenuity and is not self-centered. Heroic is natural meaning that, heroes are not made, heroism is naturally within them. In many cases what makes people stand and adore a certain person is their accomplishments. For instance, the United States army constantly puts their personal feelings, their lives as well as their families on the backburner because of their mission. The military risk their lives to protect the whole of America. However, the army can be referred to as the American heroes. During the early stage, many of the heroes were the warriors who conquered those who tried to hurt the primitive people (Ziskin, et al., 2015). The strong defenders of the society got the hero status. In many instances, heroes do not think that, after what they believe is correct, they will be adored by the society. Nevertheless, for one to become a hero, opportunities matters, volunteering matters, gender matters and education matters are some of the key aspects that influence heroism.

The term hero has often been used and no history is written without considering a national list including bravery medals granted to firefighters, policemen, or even ordinary people who have done mysterious activities. For instance, ‘’On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History” by Thomas Carlyle, the book allowed a key function to the great men as well as heroes in history (Ziskin, et al., 2015). The heroes in this book are military and also political figures. However modern typical heroes are like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Minnie Vautrin and Alan Turing among others (Ziskin, et al., 2015). These are people who are considered to have put their lives at a risk to protect and save others. Furthermore, heroes come at different age and sizes, for instance, a hero child can stand to fight for the rights of the disabled children especially in the playgrounds. There a person who can adopt a child who has been abandoned or abused. Each of these could be labeled a hero for their deeds which unimaginably changed someone’s life.

A hero is also a person who shows the society that everything is possible through their decisions and courage demonstration in an uncommon way, especially from the average population. Example of this heroes has done extremely amazing things to stop the deaths of many citizens as well as to prevent massive destructions (Franco and Zimbardo, 2011). For instance, Sully Sullenberger, a pilot who was celebrated in 2009 by landing a U.S. Airway flight in River Hudson, New York City that had incapacitated after hitting the Canadian geese flock. Sully Sullenberger saved 155 passengers who were on the plane as well as prevented deaths of people if the plane could have crushed in Manhattan Midtown. He was labeled a national hero by many of the citizens because of the choices he made that resulted in joyful moments in the nation. It is suggested that Sully gathered the courage to make this brave decision and this made him be appointed by the CBS New as the new Aviation and Safety Expert (Franco and Zimbardo, 2011).

Sometimes people living in poverty but with a willpower to prosper work hard to become people doubted they could be. However, regardless of the financial status and difficulties surrounding them, the desire to succeed influences their persistence. The few who succeeds in their hard work are examples of heroes who inspire others in their lives (Ziskin, et al., 2015).  Also, people consider themselves as heroes whenever they do something they had no choice of doing. In this case, many patients who face chronical diseases like cancer are at a high risk of death. Therefore, when someone fights this disease to recovery, they face discomfort of their illness on daily bases and they deserve to consider themselves as heroes (Ziskin, et al., 2015). Certainly, it requires massive strength and courage to face the painful treatments, and many of the cancer patients fail to keep thriving and the few who survive deserve the heroic status.

Compassion is an aspect that influences heroism although some people argue that, human are either born good or bad. However, everyone is born with an incredible capacity to do anything, and circumstances, culture or even family shapes us. What matters most is the character that is inside that controls how someone thinks, what someone does and all this relies on the circumstances (Kinsella, et al., 2015). Everyone possesses the capability to carry out terrible activities and also have the inner heroic character if stirred into action. The inner hero in every person is capable of carrying out tremendous goodness. Moreover, in the world, few people act heroically and also few people do evil and between the two categories lies a number of people who do nothing or else refuse to attend to the call of action within them (Kinsella, et al., 2015). This illustrates that a hero is one who focuses on the call of duty to help and protect others. A hero is a most effective person who can form a network for other people to have ways of bringing out the heroic in them. Also, this statement explains that everyone can be a hero whenever in the right environments of converting compassion into a heroic action (Kinsella, et al., 2015).

Today, the word ‘hero’ is used to define good behavior and actions for an ethical action. According to the psychologists, heroism is the concern for other people who are in need and also a concern to protect a moral cause with the knowledge for personal risks (Kinsella, et al., 2015). However, heroes are believed to have eight traits referred to as The Great Eight which includes, resilient, smart, caring, strong, reliable, inspiring as well as selfless. Although it is unusual for one to have all the eight traits, many of the heroes have a majority of this traits. It is also stated that, heroes are hypothesized diverse and no strong borders exist in their social context (Kinsella, et al., 2015). Research shows that some people have a particular attitude that influences them to behave morally and confidently during difficult situations (Kinsella, et al., 2015).


A hero can be defined as a person who is recognized through his behaviors that are emotionally and ethically worthy of our astonishment. However, there are different definitions that explain what a hero is like a person who shows the society that everything is possible through their decisions and courage demonstration in an uncommon way, especially from the average population. Heroes can be firefighters, military, or even ordinary people who have done mysterious activities. Also, patients who have struggled to survive from chronical diseases are given the hero status. A hero is recognized by the society because of the traits like resilient, smart, caring, strong as well as reliable.


  • Franco, Z. E., Blau, K., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2011). Heroism: a conceptual analysis and differentiation between heroic action and altruism. Review of General Psychology, 15(2), 99-108.
  • Kinsella, E. L., Ritchie, T. D., & Igou, E. R. (2015). Lay perspectives on the social and psychological functions of heroes. Frontiers in psychology, 6-43.
  • Kinsella, E. L., Ritchie, T. D., & Igou, E. R. (2015). Zeroing in on heroes: a prototype analysis of hero features. Journal of personality and social psychology, 108(1), 114.
  • Ziskin, L., Sargent, A., Peoples, D. W., Frears, S., Hoffman, D., Davis, G., Garcia, A., (2016). Hero. Culver City, California: Columbia Pictures
related articles