What is a Hero?

What is a hero?

What is a hero? How do we become a hero? You are the hero of your own story.

What is a hero? How can we be a hero?  Who are our heroes?  Whether a person is determined a hero or not,  does not necessarily depend on the degree to which they have inspired a person or a large number of people in some way.  Some heroes are invisible.  You are a hero of your own story.


  • Mother Teresa
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Hank Aaron
  • Gandhi
  • Joan of Arc
  • Amelia Earheart
  • Jacques Cousteau
  • Jonas Salk
  • The Wright Brothers
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Ansel Adams
  • Winston Churchill
  • Rosa Parks
  • Billy Graham
  • Dr. Martin Luther King
  • Christopher Columbus
  • George Washington
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Marlee Matlin
  • Lou Gehrig
  • Michael J. Fox
  • Anne Frank
  • Jane Goodall and many, many more.

Real Heros CoverBut do heroes have to be well known?  Certainly not.  Heroes are happening all around us every day.

Then what is a hero?   Before his death in 2004, and long after his death, Christopher Reeve, an American actor, film director and activist (1952-2004),  like other heros, has been an inspirational living example to others, because of his acceptance and endurance through difficult challenges.  According to Christopher Reeve,

Woman Hero Award“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.”

So heroes have their challenges and human qualities just like everyone else. These negative qualities seem to be an important part of being a hero.  Do heroes have to suffer and die?  Do heroes have to change the world?  No, some heroes live and die with very few people knowing who they are.

But every person is a hero who has faced, endured and conquered the negative qualities within. Heroes are fighters.  They battle with a variety of different issues, people, and situations.  Some negative situations are found deep within the heart, such as coming to terms with our uniqueness despite social or cultural opinions.

Hero Rescue Cat

Other situations are found outside of us, and we become strong and endure hardship such as disease or poverty.

If you have experienced some of these negative qualities, issues, or situations below, then you can find comfort in knowing that you are half-way there to becoming a hero.

Heroes have negative qualities within themselves or negative situations surrounding them that surface and allow them to refine and grow into true heroes.

  • a gripping overwhelming fear or terror
  • general weakness, feebleness or vulnerability
  • overwhelming loneliness, melancholia, moodiness, depression
  • temptation, yearning, desire, greed, or uncontrollable want
  • physical suffering or illness that effects the ability to be happy, healthy and productive
  • frustration, bitterness, blame, and resentment that dominates the mind, body and spirit
  • hopelessness, lack of faith, and despair that cripples and removes all joy in life
  • anger or rage that interferes with the ability to be loving, forgiving, and free
  • feelings of rejection, abandonment, and victimization as a result of experiencing unjust actions or treatment
  • ignorance or confusion and the inability to logically understand situations or to be able to meet expectations
  • ridicule, scorn, and humiliation by strangers, friends or family members
  • self hatred, guilt, and shame
  • repeated failures, defeat, or losses

Oklahoma City BombingThe hero can be the school teacher who stays up late at night grading papers and making teaching materials, and decorations  for the classroom and who empties her savings account of the money she had saved to buy a new car, and purchases computers for the children.  A hero can be a man who has been bedridden for five years but continues to write letters from his bed to poor, homeless children around the world, telling them to always remember that they are special, unique and a gift and blessing to the world.

A hero can be a dog who returns into a flaming building to retrieve its puppies and carry them to safety.  A hero is the young man who drives his buddy home from the bar on Saturday night after he notices that his friend has had a little too much to drink.   Each of these characters would not a be a hero if they didn’t have doubts, fears, and reservations.

Relief Society Kenya

Heroes also have redeeming qualities that carry them through difficult, seemingly impossible times.  It is the combination of the negative and positive qualities that creates the brilliance we see shining from the hero.  This is the hero’s true spiritual essence.  Is a hero always known to others? Maybe not.  As we’ve already mentioned, many heroes are invisible to others, but their essence an be felt around the world and affects the general health and wellness of the universe.

  • compassion, selflessness, charity, and genuine caring for others
  • acceptance, forgiveness, and tolerance of others
  • contentment, peace, and satisfaction with self and the situation
  • patience, composure, endurance, and the ability to wait for the right time and place
  • faith, hope, conviction, loyalty, and trust in one’s self
  • perseverance,  persistence, discipline, resilience, and the ability to never give up and continue to take action despite all circumstances
  • women hero flyerscourage, fearlessness, bravery, backbone, and the strength and ability to face all fears and negativity
  • vision, imagination, realization, inventiveness, creativity, and the ability to look outside of the box for solutions
  • gratitude, humility, grace, and the ability to humbly accept weaknesses of self and others
  • spirituality, religion, and the ability to surrender to a higher power or higher wisdom
  • truth, wisdom, awareness, and true enlightenment beyond what is obvious to the human eyes and ears
  • skill, talent, aptitude, and capability to accomplish a task and succeed as a result of disciplined effort
  • the ability to experience happiness, joy, laughter, positivity, amazement, and sincere delight in the gift and blessing of life despite its challenges

Man Holding Door OpenHOW CAN WE BE HEROES?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a hero is “a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities.”

Each of us have opportunities to be a hero every day, when we accept the invitation from the universe to offer kindness and help. We can be a hero when someone says an unkind word to another person, by offering words of kindness and hope.  We can be a hero by walking our dogs in the rain at night when we would rather stay inside where it’s warm, cuddled up in a blanket, next to the fire.   We can be a hero by picking up some litter off of the sidewalk and walking across the street to a trashcan to throw it away.

“A boy doesn’t have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn’t like pie when he sees there isn’t enough to go around”
~Edgar Watson Howe

Thank you for being a hero. Together we make a difference in the world, by being a hero in our everyday lives.


Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at www.montereybayholistic.com.

Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.