Superman, an EMT you wouldn’t make it to the

Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and Batman, all very commonly known superheroes.  You’ve heard these names at least once in your life, and I’m sure you’ve seen their symbols in a store somewhere. These heroes are called heroes because they save lives, but what really makes a hero, heroic? A hero is defined as someone who is acknowledged or idolized for their outstanding achievements, courage, and noble qualities. A hero can also be defined simply as a lifesaver.  When you read the definition of a hero and scan over “noble qualities”, what comes to mind? I’m sure many of you are thinking about Superman’s strength, or Spiderman’s flawlessness. When I interpret the words -noble qualities to define heroism- I think of; brave, selflessness, love, and an indomitable spirit. These characteristics are some of the very few that could be used to describe a hero. A hero is stereotyped to have amazing physical attributes such as Wonder Woman’s perfect sculpture, or Superman’s muscles, but, a hero goes deeper than tissue and muscle fibers, real heroism comes from the heart.  Now, think about the society around you. If you were to be in a major accident, who would save you? I don’t think you would see Spiderman swinging in to pick you up. You would see a rush of lights, and a medical team running towards you to help. An emergency medical team is only one example of real heroes. Whenever there is an emergency big or small, you know that an EMT will be one of the very first steps in saving your life. Most people would say that EMT’s are not heroes, they just drive the vehicles, but that is wrong. Without an EMT you wouldn’t make it to the hospital and certainly not alive. Another example of heroes are doctors and nurses. These are the very people who take the responsibility of risking their own lives to save yours. According to Philip Zimbardo, “a heroic act is one performed with recognition of possible risks and costs, be they to one’s physical health, or personal reputation in which the actor is willing to accept anticipated sacrifice. (Zimbardo, 2011) This perfectly describes exactly what medical teams, emergency services, and armed forces, etc., do for us each and every day. They are willing to risk their lives in order to save another’s and that is the type of characteristics that make up a hero. “A key to heroism is a concern for other people in need to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a risk, and done without expectation of a reward”, Philip states.  Heroes are all around us, the doctors and nurses that have already been mentioned, weren’t born heroes. They had to go to school, get a license, and take prosperous steps to be able to be defined as a hero. Humans are all born, but heroes are created. We are all born with the capacity to become anything we want, whether that’s good or bad. In fact,” one in five –twenty percent- of humans are considered to qualify as a hero. “, according to Zimbardo.  Heroes typically do not function alone. Even Spiderman and Superman have a network or a team behind their heroic actions. Spiderman has Iron Man and Mary Jane, just as doctors have nurses and surgeons. One major skill of being a hero is being a team player. For example, firefighters. In November of 2016, Gatlinburg, TN went up into flames. “Firefighters from various regions teamed up to fight the fires and to help those in need escape the flames”, says a comment from New York Times live broadcast of the scene. (John Jeter, 2108) Firefighter’s work on a team every day in order to save lives from burning buildings and forests. Firefighter’s are a true example of a hero because they never expect anything in return, any recognition, and they knew taking the role that they would be risking their lives and their health to save others. Being a team player is only one skill needed to be declared as heroic, there are many others including; leadership, selflessness, and courage.  Now, who’s to say that you yourself cannot be classified as a hero? In What Is Heroism or Stupidity? the author talks about a time they performed heroic actions. It begins by saying the author stumbled upon a scenario where a woman was being dragged into a park by three men. The author took the action of saving the women by “…putting the hazards on, unlocking the passenger door, hooting, and yelling “get in!”” (Valentine Njoroge, 2012) These actions were unexpected, nor did she think twice about performing. Acts of heroism typically are brought up by doing just that, not thinking, but doing. You can be classified as a hero as well when saving someone’s life, even if it be a scenario as simple as performing the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking friend. Hero, a four-letter word, most commonly thought of as superheroes’ flying through the sky. Not commonly thought of the real lifesavers we interact with every single day. A hero is someone who portrays the noble qualities of brave, selflessness, love, and an indomitable spirit. Heroes are not born heroes, but better yet created through years of school, and acts of bravery in a life-saving event. Heroes are often stumbled upon when needed the most. Heroes are the backbone of society as the world could not spin around without their heroic acts. A hero is you, a hero is a lifesaver. As Derrick Sheperd would say, “It’s a great day to save lives.” 

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