Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Does anyone else feel like the term hero is being over used? It seems like the media tags someone a hero without hesitation. This bothers me. I have a firm idea of what makes someone a hero.
For example this man is a hero in my eyes.

This man without thought for his own life went and grabbed the boy from the fire. That to me is a hero.

Now there is another man who people are calling a hero also. However, I don't call him a hero. (here is where I piss people off) I call him a man who did his job well. A man who was saving his own ass and in the process saved others. In my opinion doing your job does not make you a hero.

Yes he saved people by crash landing in the river instead of the buildings but think about this. Here is a pilot who knows he is going to crash. He has a choice to crash into buildings or crash into a river. He chose to crash into a river. How really does that make him a hero? He was doing his job. Should he be awarded for it. Hell yes. Should people be proud of him? Yes. Should the families of the people he kept alive with his decision honor him? Yes.
Does it make him a hero to me? No. No it doesn't.

A hero does something free will. A hero makes a choice to go out of his comfort zone to save someone.

Another example? (more angry people now....)

Should a soldier be considered a hero? No. Not all of them. They are doing their job. Should we hold them in the highest esteem? Yes. Should we support them in everything? Yes. They keep our country safe. They need our love and support. They are our backbone. But just serving our country as their job does not a hero make. There will be some soldiers who are heroes though. Just not every one of them. The media portrays them all as returning heroes. I don't agree.

A honest to God hero is someone like this group of people. People who knew they were going to die if they did something before letting the people in charge choose their death. They knew by doing something they would cause their own death yet they chose to act instead of sit back.

The people of flight 93 knew they were on a plane bound to kill innocent people. They were aware of what had been happening. They chose to stop the terrorists the only way they knew how. They acted knowing they were choosing death for themselves while saving innocent lives in another location. They are true heroes.

I think the media needs to calm down on it's use of the word hero or it won't mean anything anymore. It will just be a catch phrase.
So I guess I just feel if you are doing your job you are not automaticly a hero. There are times however when you are. Sigh.

One last thing that has nothing at all to do with this post.... what in the heck is a google reader?


  1. I see your point. You're right, they're just doing their jobs.

    A google reader is something in google where a list of all the blogs you follow (yes you need to click on follow to become a follower) and you can check for updates or read from google instead of the actual blog.

    If you aren't a follower for any blog, there won't be anything in your google reader.

  2. I see what you are saying and I agree as well..the media sensationalizes everything..that is what they do..that is how they get noticed and get paid. It doesnt take away from the fact that all of the people you mentioned true heroes or not..are deserving of our thanks, support and kindess.. good post...


  3. i agree with you on this one.

    i made fun of my dad a little (and i wouldn't say really a hero in this case but its the same point).

    he was awarded "employee of the quarter" last year for noticing a little kid running down the street, stopping his dump truck, and grabbing the kid before it ran out into the road. he's a street department worker - responsible for fixing sidewalks and hanging christmas lights.

    the guy who beat him for "employee of the year" was a fire fighter. who save a guy from a fire. amazing, but not above and beyond what his job called for.

  4. I agree that if the term is used too much it will lose its value; so it must be used accordingly.

  5. It's strange how we can know what a word means, but use it contextually in another way, without thinking. It's also interesting how the media can shape this. I agree there is a big difference in being good at your job and being a hero. I have always (you've started me thinking...) attached a bit of extra high regard certain professions. I paint, and drive nails. I do some beautiful things, but my job is not as important as educating the young. Those occupations where people can exchange their life for someone else's in defense or rescue are in a special category for me. Too, those who work to deliver exploited women and children, sacrificing a higher standard of living to do so...I don't know if they are heroic, but there is something special going on there, as well. We need a new word. One that means "Slightly badass or possessing exceptional merit, but not a hero."

  6. I agree with you completely. I think the term is used so much now that it has lost its meaning.


    OK. I'm not really mad at you but I do think you are somewhat wrong here. I mean I see your point to an extent, and it's certainly true that the media sensationalizes things and that certain words could begin to lose their meaning.

    However, I think you may have missed the point with Capt. Sully. Yes he "chose" to crash the plain in the river and not into buildings, but do you know what a miracle that landing was? The airlines spend so much time and energy trying to prepare us passengers on what to do "in the event of a water 'landing'" but they never bother to tell us how unlikely it is that a "water landing" will actually work. According to media reports I saw at the time of Sully's "heroic landing", statistically planes attempting a water landing usually break apart on impact. So I would argue that, yes, he did his job "really well", but ALSO that he is a hero. I guarantee you the passengers and crew on his plane, and their families, think he's a hero!

    Now here's something interesting, and I'm mostly just playing devil's advocate here, because I agree that they were heroes, BUT...

    The guys that took back flight 93, were just a small handful of the passengers on the flight. Looking at the events of that day from the outside, we all know that the hijackers were going to do SOMETHING dasterdly with that plane. We all know that the passengers on that plane were GOING to die on that day, one way or another. But the men who took the plane back, knowing they were going to die as a result, as you say? They made the decision for every one else on that plane without their involvement. Does that make them heroes? Or does that make them murderers? I say they're heroes, but in the context of your post, it's food for thought! ;)

    Good post! Gets people thinking.

    By the way I wrote this long winded reply on my iPhone and editing is difficult so if their are any weird typos, that's why!

    And no, I'm not really mad at you. :)