“We don’t need another hero!???”

It’s catchy tune, but I strongly disagree, Tina. We absolutely, 100%, do need more heroes!!

While I’m sure that I’m taking song lyrics somewhat out of context (I did learn more about Tina Turner, the Thunderdome than I ever would have hoped), I think the world has always longed for heroes. It feels like, deep down, we seek out and hope to find those who have lived their lives well and succeeded in changing the world. Maybe, even we desire to be one of those heroes. According to author and philosopher Joseph Campbell, “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” According to that definition, becoming a hero is within reach of us all. We just need to find that purpose greater than ourselves.

Undoubtedly one of my favorite things about reading is finding new heroes. I have been blown away by the sacrifice and impact made by these individuals. 

What makes a hero in your opinion?

According to Arthur Ashe, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

When I look around, I see a society that spends countless hours following celebrities, sports stars, business icons, and social media influencers. While I recognize a desire to escape into the lives of those who seem to have it all, I can’t help but think of the time wasted on those who focus so much on themselves. Imagine how society could change for good if we spent even a small percentage of that time studying the lives of those who have changed the world, the true heroes in history. I think we might be inspired to live a more purpose-filled life.

Tell me how you spend your time and I’ll tell you what you value most.

Until you spend your time learning from the greatest, the ones who have successfully done the heavy lifting, I think your potential is limited. You cannot understand the human spirit and the importance of fighting for something bigger than yourself. These men and women give us insight as they have overcome real problems in history and their lives teach us how we can do the same. I think we all have power to become heroes, either on a grand, or a small scale.

Keep your eye out for the “Hero Series” where I will discuss some of the books that have introduced me to my favorite heroes. If you’re looking for a book now, here are a few to get you started:

The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore – In the 1860s, it turns out a man could commit his wife to an insane asylum for pretty much any reason. Elizabeth Packard, one of the earliest women’s rights advocates, fought tirelessly to change that. 

Walking with the Wind by John Lewis – Absolutely one of my favorite books. This memoir by John Lewis describes the role he played in the fight for civil rights in our country. His courage and commitment are inspiring.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela – This memoir describes Nelson Mandela’s courageous fight against apartheid in South Africa. Despite 27 years in prison, his spirit was not broken and ultimately he prevailed.

Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King – Unbelievable story of courage and vision by civil rights attorney and Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall. 

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – Although historical fiction, this book is based on two of the earliest women to publicly advocate for the abolition of slavery and for women’s rights.

I’d love to hear who your heroes are.

  • Hill
    2 years ago
    I love this idea! I love a heroes series!! I want to say it was Joseph Campbell, but I might be mistaken, the Brian Johnson “this “all the time that the definition of a hero means having strength for two. I love that thought being enough in the moment to help yourself AND help someone else along the way is an inspiring thought for me
  • Cyd
    2 years ago
    I need to think on this a bit more, but I'm excited to read this series of posts on heroes.