Expand definition of hero


[Arlington Heights, Ill.] Daily Herald: Doesn’t heroism come down to common decency?

There are some who argue that a hero is someone extraordinary, someone who puts his or her life at great risk for a greater good.

While someone who meets that standard certainly is a hero, we’d expand the definition.

We’re more inclined to favor the definition suggested by 20th century poet May Sarton, who said, “One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.”

After all, aren’t parents, who make sacrifices so that their children have better lives, heroes?

Aren’t any of us who take the time to offer a kind word or comfort to someone suffering heroes?

Aren’t those who do the right thing even when it runs against their personal interest or gain heroes?

There are some who argue that this type of broad definition diminishes what it means to be a hero; that if all of us can be heroes, it makes heroism a commonplace thing, no big deal.

We contend that, quite the contrary, the fact that all of us can be heroes makes it an inspiring thing!

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