In recent years I have thought much about heroes. So, in this moment in time, as I share some of my heroes with you, I am curious who your heroes might be. Let us begin with a common definition:
A hero (heroine for females) (Greek: ἥρως, hḗrōs), in Greek mythology and folklore, was originally a demigod, their cult being one of the most distinctive features of ancient Greek religion. Later, hero (male) and heroine (female) came to refer to characters who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, display courage and the will for self sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good of all humanity. This definition originally referred to martial courage or excellence but extended to more general moral excellence.
Stories of heroism may serve as moral examples.
As a combat veteran I would add that a hero/heroine is an ordinary person who steps into an extraordinary event and excels at something or for some reason whether on a one-time basis or perhaps in a continuing role.
I have many heroes; John Basilone, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus, and a several folks none of you would know because by definition, they seek no glory -- that is antithetical.
I have added three in recent months. IT and BP and Leonardo Ricardo. These three folks display great courage each and every day and are wonderful moral examples. They struggle with issues that should have been settled many, many years ago and yet are not. And, while they quietly insist on a certain level of respect, for which they are resoundingly abused at times, continue the struggle not just for them, but for all LGBT persons. I ask you, how can you not have heroes like this?
This is the front line or at least the last vestige of the small-minded, bigoted person who wants to feel better about themselves by crushing other folks. Race, ethnicity, religion and to a large extent sex (though in some circles of Conelonialists this is still a fight to be waged) are all gone. No one can get away with even a smart-aleck remark without being justifiably chastised for the gross insensitivity. But it seems even in elementary school, it is still acceptable (and done with an alarming degree of frequency) to call someone gay or a lesbian or a homosexual as a derogatory term.
It is in the face of these assaults that IT and BP and Leonardo extend themselves every single day. That certainly fits my bill for hero. Recently IT and BP had a blessing of their marriage. What a pure joy that must be for them -- and yet they go back into the fray again to continue the struggle until everyone is free.
Who are your heroes?