Please don’t get me wrong. My purpose is not to defame any hero we have and with the National Heroes Day coming up, it would be absolutely stupid of me to even try. With this auspicious day coming up, I would like us to think about heroism in general. What is it? Can anybody be a hero? Do the heros we recognize measure up to what heros should be?
What is the definition of heroism? The dictionary defines it as the show of qualities and attributes of a hero. Hero is defined as a person of distinguished courage or ability and admired for his brave and noble deeds.
Each and every one of us has our own set of heroes whose virtues we try to emulate in our lives. These heroes could be those who are known or unsung heroes the world may never know about. Let me ask you now, what really defines heroes? Is it the extraordinary feats that they perform? Is it their courage and bravery? Strength?
Before I give you my answer to that, have you ever heard of Jebediah Springfield? He is the founder and local hero of a fictional town called Springfield. Sound familiar? It’s where the Simpsons live!
In Season 6, Episode 17 of The Simpsons, Lisa uncovers the truth behind their revered hero. He was once a murderous pirate (named Hans Sprungfeld) who tried to kill George Washington. She did her best to reveal this truth to everyone in town but later decided not to because the myth of Jebediah was important in maintaining the happiness and patriotism in their town.
Do you see where I am getting at? I strongly believe that TRUE HEROISM LIES IN INTENTION! What do I mean by that? It means that no matterhow great or courageous a person’s act may be, I believe that the intentions behind the act should be the main factor in considering a person to be hero.
Example: I see a person drowning, if my intention to save the person is that I don’t want to see that person die then I am a hero but if my intention was to save the person to impress someone else or gain fame then I highly doubt it can be considered a heroic deed.
So if this was the basis for determining heroism then it may mean that some of our heroes are not heros at all. Many historians question whether Andres Bonifacio should be considered the First President of the Philippines instead of Emilio Aguinaldo. Serious allegations also surface that Aguinaldo ordered the execution of Bonifacio. If this is true then should people like Aguinaldo be considered a hero?
This is interesting! Heros offing each other!
None of us was around during those times to judge our so-called heroes. None of us will ever know the intentions of these people and we can only speculate what they had in mind when they joined the fight to free our land.
However, I assert that intentions are important in determining true heroism which is far different from historical or paper heroism. If our leaders acted less in self interest and more on selflessness then I imagine our country would be a better place. Unfortunately, many of us would agree that the intentions for people who are competing for positions of power are motivated by self interest and gain.
These intentions not only are unscrupulous but put to waste the sacrifice of our true heroes in laying down their lives for our freedom!
I think the important thing we need to come to terms with is that sometimes we ask for too much. We can go around pointing fingers at our officials and say that they are the source of our misery but Mother Theresa once said; “If everyone were to clean their own doorstep, the whole world would be clean”.
Going back to my question, can anybody be a hero? My answer is yes and everybody should strive to be one! Even people like Efren Peñaflorida have shown us that a little deed like teaching street children how to read is true heroism in itself! I am sure his intention was not to brag to the world that he spends most of his time pushing a small cart around town to reach out to street kids. His intention was to give street kids a chance at education.
It’s all about intentions people! Intentions define the hero and each and everyone of us has the potential to display heroism in our own way. It’s not about starting a revolution and ousting invaders but about alleviating the suffering of our fellow man and standing up for what is right. No matter how big or small, any act with the intention of helping another without any promise or expectation of personal gain is true heroism!
If each and everyone of us decided to become true heros, then this world would definitely be a better place to live!