Speech on Heroes
You know when I was a kid my favourite super hero was Superman. I
kind of admired him because it would be cool to be able to fly and have
super human strength but the main reason I liked Superman was he
helped people no matter what. We’ve become a society that’s centred on
self; self-gratification, self-motivation, self-indulgence. It’s been a
driving force for American’s for decades now and as a result we are
witnesses to the slow death of the hero. Today I’m going to tell you a
little bit about how we define what a hero is, what it takes to be a hero
and how you and I can re-kindle the effects of heroism.
So let’s start with, how do we define what a hero is? The definition of a
hero at says that a hero is a person noted for feats of
courage and nobility of purpose, especially one who risks or sacrifices his
or her life. But it goes on to say that it is a person noted for a special
achievement in a particular field such as medicine. Basically a hero is
someone who, for whatever reason or reasons, does something for
somebody else without regard for self, personal gain and in some cases,
personal endangerment.
So where are these heroes and who are they? We seem them every day.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. They are doctors, nurses and fire fighters
but they are also teachers, mothers and fathers, care givers and social workers,
and you. That’s right; you have the potential to be a hero. You have what it
takes to be a hero. You see comic books mostly represent exaggerated heroes
in capes, with symbols, and give them super human powers to make them
larger than life. But I’m here to tell you you don’t really need the cape. It’s
just for show. And you really don’t need a symbol. We watch movies like
Lord of the Rings where we see all the action going on with all the sword play
but we actually miss the hidden messages within that say that you can be a
hero, you can be heroic, even if you think you are weak and powerless. You
don’t have to jump over tall buildings. The news only highlights the traumatic
acts of heroism as seen during Sept 11, Hurricane Katrina and so on. This
implies that to be a hero you have to put your life on the line but that couldn’t
be further from the truth. The truth is that anyone has the potential to be a
hero. All you really need is two factors; one, you need opportunity and two,
you need initiative.
So let’s say that all of us in this room, we go out and we start looking for
opportunities and we start noticing things that we could hop into and then we
start taking that initiative. You know, stepping forward and giving help. The
result could be that we start a chain reaction that spreads the spark of heroism.
Heroism is a powerful thing. Anyone has the potential to be a hero at anytime,
anywhere, at a moment’s notice. They can be the person that carnies that
groceries for that lady, to her car. Or it can be that store clerk that works late,
just after close and lets that one person in for that last minute food item or
medicine. It’s an important and necessary trait and characteristic that we
should all embrace.