Hero Essay Example

Christopher Reeve, a well known “heroic” actor, once said, “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” This quote means that to be a hero, one can have an ordinary personality, but when he or she encounters adversity the individual finds courage and steps up to unknowingly be the hero. I disagree with the statement, “Heroes are the result of the time and place of an event, rather than the personality traits of the hero” because heroes must have certain personality traits; then they must utilize them to make an impact on an event or place. However, if a person has heroic personality traits, but no opportunity to demonstrate those traits, no one will recognize him/her as a hero, even though he/she technically is! If a person does not have the traits of a hero but has a moment to make a difference, the person may not express a heroic personality needed at that particular time. To be a hero, both personality traits and an event to demonstrate those traits is important.

In the article, “Are You a Hero or a Bystander?” by Sue Shellenbarger, Ms. Eldridge’s heroism was demonstrated by an event. She saved an elderly woman from getting hit by a train. Ms. Eldridge had heroic traits to make an impact in this situation. Her positive traits included: sympathy, empathy, courage, and wisdom. After the event, Ms. Eldridge said, “All I could think about was the lady’s face. She looked lost. She needed help, and she needed help right then.” Shellenbarger’s article quotes research that states that heroes have qualities and attitudes that distinguish them from the rest of us. Then she writes that a hero makes a very quick decision, at a certain time and place, and takes a heroic risk.

From the CNN Video, “Watch Boston victim, Hero's Emotional Reunion,” Amanda North saves Erika Brannock from the Boston bombing. The Boston Bombing took place during the Boston Marathon in April of 2013. The bomber detonated two bombs near the race’s finish line. Erika lost her leg from one of the bombs. Amanda appeared from nowhere and saved Erika from worse injury by applying a tourniquet with her belt and then holding her hand to comfort her. Amanda had the right personality to help Erika, because there was a risk of another bomb detonating. Amanda saved Erika at the right time. If Amanda would have waited any longer, Erika might have died. In this time and place of the Boston Marathon Bombing, Amanda had the courage, wisdom, and strength to help Erika. She saved Erika’s life, while receiving minor injuries herself. Amanda said, “When I saw Erika laying down, wounded, I knew she needed help.” Amanda took charge at the moment and had the right personality to help.

From the New York Times article, “Help Him Up!” by Michael Wilson, David Capuzzo, 26 years of age, jumped into a subway track in Manhattan, and helped a homeless man who had fallen into the tracks. David Capuzzo recalled thinking, “If no one does anything, he’s going to die.” David pushed the homeless man up from the tracks, and others pulled him to safety. “I just jumped down,” he said. “I grabbed, like, his legs together and I stood up. This is a time-sensitive issue. I don’t know where the train is.” 3 minutes later, the train came, but everyone was safe. Everyone now looked up at David as a hero. I mean, he saved the homeless man’s life! This was very heroic of David at this time, to help the man, but David also had the personality. If David never had the right hero ethics, he would have never saved the homeless man. David wanted to help the homeless man free to safety, and David had the personality at the right time to go save him.

In conclusion, heroes are the result of time and place of an event; but to be a hero, he/she needs to have the traits of a hero. Amanda North, Ms. Eldridge, and David Capuzzo all showed heroic traits during their time. Ms. Eldridge had the courage and wisdom the save the old lady from getting hit by a train. Amanda North had the will and personality to save Erika from more harmful injuries. And finally, David Capuzzo had the strength and bravery to jump into the train tracks and help the homeless man get off the tracks and not get hit by a train. To be a hero, he/she must have just the right personality, and the time or place of an event to use his/her personality! In my life, I know I have the right personality to be a hero, but I am technically a hero because I have never come up to help someone in a last minute moment.


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