Inspirational Thoughts for the Day – Act Heroically
For the most part, most children associate the word hero with action heroes like Batman, Superman, and The Hulk. These are characters whose courage inspires trust and hope in their respective followers. Sometimes however, the association between hero and action can be misleading. Sometimes heroes need not be perceived as living creatures in order to inspire action and belief in people. A hero can be any sort of person; he/she may be a teen with a loving family, a working individual with a rewarding career, or a down-to-earth, ordinary individual.
If you’re familiar with the work of F.Scott Fitzgerald, you’ll know that the main character of his story The Great Gatsby is not what he seems to be: he is, in actuality, nothing more than an average Joe Gately. A super hero is usually defined by his extraordinary qualities. A hero’s greatest strength is his ability to overcome adversity and stand up to grave danger. In order to do this, a hero has to channel his energy and utilize his willpower and strength of character to resist the urge to succumb to evil or foolishness. A hero’s courage is often demonstrated by a strong desire to follow his destiny and take his place among the living.
According to the psychotherapist and psychologist Dr. John Rose, writing in Heroes & Villains, “heroism” stems from a combination of various psychological traits including emotional intelligence, confidence, and social skill. In essence, Rose says, heroism is the ability to understand and meet challenges with equanimity, to take risks, to view possibilities and threats realistically, and to disregard personal identity for the sake of others. For Rose, the real test of hero-worship comes when we see ourselves in a different light than when we consider ourselves only as parts of our identities. “If we look at ourselves as simple, material creatures, without unique feelings or motives, then we lose our sense of worth and integrity,” Rose writes. “In order to be authentic, to be heroic, we must connect with our true selves.”
Rose goes on to say that true heroes are able to perceive the world “rationally,” through the lens of their soul. “There is something precious and powerful about being connected to our inner source of power,” he says. This connection allows us to step into our role as hero with dignity and grace. “Being heroic is having a sense of who you are and knowing who you want to be,” Rose continues. “It’s having the courage to make the journey.” And finally, it is having “the wisdom to know what you’re going to accomplish.”
So, how do we know if we have “the courage to be a hero?” To be a hero, according to Rose, requires that you view yourself as a heroic individual. This requires that you act heroically. You must channel your personal heroism through your imagination and put yourself in action. To act heroically is to be heroic.
Today, as we plunge ourselves into new and dangerous situations Rose continues, we need to remember that “heroism is not a crime.” ” Heroes don’t get put in jail for trying to help people. They get put in jail for trying to help themselves.” So act heroically, courageously, and generously.