How to define hero?
A hero is someone who is brave, right? Someone who gives selflessly. My first thought goes directly to the courageous men and women in our military--I am exceedingly grateful for them, those veterans who came before, and the freedom they’ve preserved. With that nod to their great contribution to our world, however I want to take this post in another direction.
I mean we’d all agree that our soldiers are heroes right? And we’d all agree that someone who saves your life, who rescues you from certain death is a hero, right? Images of someone rushing into a burning building to save a life come to mind. Someone who stops at the scene of a car wreck before the paramedics have arrived. Someone who pulls you out of the way of the bus. Let’s take one step to the side of those more obviously heroic examples, though…when the life saving event turns into a head-over-heels fall in the heart department.
Leia was a prisoner on the Death Star. Still, Han managed to save her and change her life.
Of course, association with Han continued to put Leia in harm’s way, but they were undeniable, weren’t they? Each fought for what they wanted, each saved the other’s life at some point, and in the end, they fought to be with each other.
What about Rick and Evie?
She got him out of a death sentence to lead her to Hamunaptra. She was the catalyst of their great adventure, and, yeah, he returned the favor and saved her life repeatedly, too.
But what if your life isn’t in mortal peril, and you aren’t a captive of some dread enemy? What if the thing holding you back, holding you down, eating you up inside is … yourself?
What if someone just drops into your life when it seems most bleak, sets you free from your self imposed prisons and irrevocably changes it for the better?
Isn’t that heroic too?
What about Heathcliff and Cathy?
Such tragedy…but what if they had never been torn apart? What if their ‘family’ associations, their ‘status’ issues, had never been? What would have become of their relentless love for each other that would not die, if the pain and regrets had been absent? Wouldn’t the efforts that played into their tragedy have then become something more heroic?
Didn’t those references take you back to those movies? Why are we drawn to these stories?? Heroes falling in love…fighting bad guys and saving the day because of and for the one they are clearly destined to be with. These weren’t people who stood around waiting for things to happen, they made things happen. They were active and passionate and we rooted for them. And I say we all need to bring a little bit of heroism into ourselves daily, to be better than we were yesterday, and to build the courage we need to love deeper than ever before.