May 31, 2006

a hero...

What does it take to be considered a hero? That's the question that was in my mind as I watched and read several news articles on today. One article was concerning a former Marine who defended himself against a group of robbers who attacked him on the street. Someone was quoted in the article refering to him as a hero. He wasn't a hero! He kept himself from being killed! There's a big difference to me. "Hero" gives me the idea of someone doing something very risky for the benefit of someone else. I don't think a natural defense mechanism counts as heroic. Even better was the article about that race horse with the broken leg... Barbaro. They called the jockey a hero for slowing down, which supposedly "saved the horse's life." Okay, so even if it did save the horse's life because the guy slowed down, it's a horse! Don't get me wrong, I love animals and everything, but I still think it's pushing it to call the saving of an animal life "heroic." Then there was the story about the fire fighter who rescued a cat from the roof of a three-story home that was on fire. The word "hero" was not specifically used in this article, but you know someone was thinking it. Saving a cat. How cliche. At least there was a fire involved and the people were taken care of first. The headline story for CNN today was about military groups in Congo brutally raping women. A hero would be someone who went into this situation determined to make a difference for the protection of these women, no matter the personal sacrifice it would take. Someone willing to risk their life to defend those who are helpless, to fight this injustice. (*Marilyn's voice in my head*) That's a hero. Not a cat-rescuer, or a horse racer, or even someone who defended themself.

Okay, sorry to sound so accusing and pesimistic about the news today, but that was my prevailing thought as I was reading today. What are your thoughts on heros?

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