Who are Heroes?


Our recent podcast on Martin Strel swimming the Amazon has stirred up some thinking in the minds of our listeners.  Particularly interesting to people were the reasons that people do risky things and whether or not doing something risky makes someone a "hero."

Check out what Peoples wrote about Martin Strel in a really interesting comment:

I had a pretty interesting conversaton about this podcast with Persons. It went something ike this:

Persons:  It’s stupid! I admire people who take risks for good reasons, but this guy isn’t gaining anything!

Peoples: Are you sure he’s not gaining anything? I mean, he’s definitly getting attention, which everyone thinks is a bad thing, but is it so bad to want to be known. If you really want him not to get attention, you better exit out of this blog now.

Plus, he loves to swim. He likes to face dangers and take risks. If you want to critisize him for this, okay, but never do anything that you like again if it involves some risk.

Persons: First of all, it’s not some little risk… IT’S HIS LIFE!!!
And if he’s going to risk his life, shouldn’t he do something that helps the whole world, not just himself?

Here comes the confusing part…

Peoples: The whole world is just a bunch of individual people. If every single person did something that made them happy, that would be like helping the world…wouldn’t it?
If everyone helps themself, no one needs to help them.

Persons: But some people wo are poor can’t help themselves.

Peoples: But this guy can…so shouldn’t he. This doesn’t mean he’s never helping anyone else, just that he’s helping himself.

So do I think he’s crazy. Yes, but that’s not always a bad thing. The world needs some crazy people. Swimming the Amazon doesn’t make his guy a hero, but it means he could be. I think all heros are crazy because of all the dangers they put themself into… and I mean crazy in a good way."

So what do you think about Martin Strel, risk takers and heroes?  Do you agree with Peoples that, "The whole world is just a bunch of individual people. If every single person did something that made them happy, that would be like helping the world…wouldn’t it?"

Or do you agree with Persons that, "If he’s going to risk his life, shouldn’t he do something that helps the whole world, not just himself?"

Leave us a comment to share your thinking and join us again soon on The Blurb.

Image retrieved from http://www.the-real-heroes.com/images/SlashLogo.gif on February 23, 2007


About Bill Ferriter

I'm a real-live, bona-fide, full-time practicing classroom teacher. #takeTHAT
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2 Responses to Who are Heroes?

  1. Beach Party Barbie says:

    Well yes maybe people should do what makes them happy. But then again if your going to risk your life sjouldn’t it be for something that can make everyone happy not just your self.
    Like a firefighter they feel happy and good inside when they save someone and/or their house. Just like the person is happy that you saved them and/or their house.
    See they aren’t just makeing thamselves happy they are making someone else happy too. Isn’t that whats heros are? People who care for others not just themselves.
    Nice people are people that think ohh well how would that make them feel? Aren’t they the people who think before they act? Aren’t they people that take risks and stands up for what they belive?
    Heros are paople like this and more. You may see a hero walk down the street tommorow and not even know it. Heroes don’t brage or boast but they are happy too help.
    Heros come in all shapes and sizes and you may not always reconize one at first but they are always there. You never know though.
    But who are we to judge and decide who heros are? If they can do that than they have a lot of power don’t you think? I mean they have the power to say hhey your a hero and your not okay!
    I think heros are someone who inspires someone. They are someone who cares for other people. They do risks for someone else not risks for themselves to make them happy. But heroes should be happy because that would make other people happy.
    But serouisley who really gets to decide who heros are? I mean come on who really knows who is a hero and who isn’t?

  2. I just stumbled upon this post recently and I noticed a few things. I’m basically ‘old’ so my perspective is bound to be different from yours, but if you don’t mind my comment… I noticed that happiness seems to be a common theme connected to heroes. So to identify a hero is to identify someone who knows how to make themselves/others happy? Sounds more like a comedian, your dad or best friend. I think a hero is someone who has faced supreme adversity and somehow rises above it and in so doing, they elevate others by their shear determination and strength of character. A boy I knew in HS was behind a car that swerved and flipped over a guard rail. He didn’t have a cell phone, he just got out and ran to the car pulling out the injured driver and saving his life. This boy said he just did what he felt he had to do. He wasn’t thinking about being happy, he was thinking about survival and the value of human life. Another friend I knew grew up with two parents, both abusive alcoholics, she vowed to make a better life for herself and she went on to raise three kids successfully and somehow did it without any good role models of her own. She had determination and she was a surviver. What about the boys in the Sudan recruited to be soldiers at the age of 9, who were forced to commit atrocities and later with freedom and a new start they show us how people can be given a second chance and overcome their past. My heroes take risks in spite of their own happiness. The people who fight for human rights around the world. They risk their lives. In fact happiness is not even a consideration, it’s survival, commitment and it’s the greater good that drives them. There,so much for one kindergarten teacher’s point of view. By the way, having a blog like this is fantastic. Someday it might even make you a hero!

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