Be an hero
disclaimer: this thread is not for shounen fegs
The ingredients of heroism are well known to storytellers. A hero embarks on a journey of some kind that begins when he or she is cast into a dangerous, unfamiliar world. The hero is charged with accomplishing a daunting task and receives assistance from unlikely sources. There are frightening obstacles along the way and villainous characters to overcome. After many trials and much suffering, the hero prevails and then bestows a gift to society. Our troubled world desperately needs more heroes. This leads to the question of whether we can choose to become a hero and how much fate, luck, or circumstances — forces beyond our control — just make heroism happen. Often overlooked in this journey is the key to the hero’s success, namely, the hero’s acquisition of an important quality that he or she lacks. All heroes start out “incomplete” in some sense. They lack some essential inner quality that they must develop to succeed. This quality can be self-confidence, humility, courage, compassion, faith, resilience, or some fundamental truth about themselves and the world. In a perfect world, we would all help one another in times of need. In the back of our minds we may think, “I will do this because one day I may need help and I hope someone is there for me.” This is reciprocal altruism in action, commonly referred to as “the Golden Rule”: help others now to get help for oneself someday. But the Golden Rule is challenged on a daily basis. People in need of help don’t get the support they require. Instead, too often, they avert their eyes, turn their heads and pass quickly by. So what is holding us back? To answer this question lets take a look why they are so few heroes
Why There are so few heroes
To be a hero, you first have to learn to be a deviant. Heroism requires people to depart from their normal world, to cast aside conventional ways of behaving. Heroes are not ordinary – they are extraordinary. Examples of heroic deviance permeate our culture. Harry Potter was hardly a typical student at Hogwarts. Jesus of Nazareth was a counter-cultural rebel who defied the prevailing order. Batman is hardly “normal” by any definition. Everyday people who become heroes display a willingness to behave freakishly. And ofc Heroes must often overcome psychological barriers. Becuase of the bystander effect, people tend to diffuse responsibility and assume that others should do the heroic work, a type of psychological laziness that is engendered simply by being in a large group or society. Here’s the hard truth: Being subject to psychological pressures or social forces that encourage inaction is no excuse for failing to help people who need it. Barriers to heroism can be broken down when we summon the moral courage to do the right thing even when it is hard to do the right thing. Heroism also involves risk and potential danger. Emergency situations offer severe challenges to us. Times of crisis. s have several qualities that make it surprising that any heroes emerge from them. First, emergencies are rare and unexpected. This rarity means that emergencies can easily catch us off-guard and leave us seemingly paralyzed. Second, emergency situations are often dangerous. To be heroic, we must sometimes be willing to put our own lives at risk to help others, Plenty of caring and kind people might shrink back in the face of danger. those who do leap into action are typically more likely to take greater risks in multiple aspects of their lives. Third, emergencies require immediate action. We can’t stop and ponder the pros and cons of intervening or consult with trusted friends about whether to help. We must act quickly. These three characteristics of emergencies make effective responses to them difficult. But most importantly heroism requires knowledge and preparation. A fourth characteristic of emergencies is that they differ widely from each other. Saving a drowning person requires a completely different set of skills compared to the act of saving a heart attack victim. A choking victim needs help from someone trained to perform the Heimlich maneuver, and a person who stops breathing needs someone with CPR training. Countless times heroes have reported that their training and preparation enabled them to save lives. You can have the best intentions in the world but if you lack the skills to save someone, you render yourself useless in an emergency.
How do heroes enrich our lives?
We all know that heroes are inspiring, but research/studies on heroes [yes it is a recent field of study in psychology] also reveals several non-obvious ways that they improve our lives. Here are some psychological benefits that heroes provide that are somewhat surprising:
1. Heroes produce a recently identified emotion called “elevation”
Recent research suggests that heroes and heroic action may evoke a unique emotional response which Jonathan Haidt at NYU has called elevation. Haidt borrowed the term elevation from Thomas Jefferson, who used the phrase moral elevation to describe the euphoric feeling one gets when reading great literature. When people experience elevation, they feel a mix of awe, reverence, and admiration for a morally beautiful act. The emotion is described as similar to calmness, warmth, and love. Haidt argues that elevation is “elicited by acts of virtue or moral beauty; it causes warm, open feelings in the chest.”
2. Heroes heal our psychic wounds
Tens of thousands of years ago, when humans first tamed fire, tribe members huddled around a communal fire at the end of each day for warmth and protection. But the act of gathering around fire encouraged another activity—storytelling. The first stories told were no doubt tales of heroes and heroic action, and these tales were a salve for people’s psychological wounds. Hero stories calmed people’s fears, buoyed their spirits, nourished their hopes, and fostered important values of strength and resilience. Life now had greater purpose and meaning. There’s no doubt that humans today are no different from our early ancestors. We are drawn to good hero stories because they comfort us and heal us.
3. Heroes nourish our connections with other people
Storytelling is a community-building activity. For early humans, just the act of gathering around communal fires to hear stories established social connections with others. This sense of family, group, or community was, and remains, central to human emotional well-being. The content of hero stories also promotes a strong sense of social identity. If the hero is an effective one, he or she performs actions that exemplify and affirm the community’s most cherished values. The validation of a shared worldview, told vividly in storytelling, cements social bonds. Heroes are role models who perform behaviors that reinforce our most treasured values and connections with others.
4. Heroes show us how to transform our lives
Comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell believed that heroes undergo a personal transformation during their hero journeys. In every hero story, the hero starts out missing an important quality, usually self-confidence, humility, or a sense of his or her true purpose in life. To succeed, the hero must recover, or discover, this quality. Every hero story tells of a journey toward vast personal transformation. Campbell believed that all of us undergo a hero-like journey throughout our ordinary human lifespans. During our lives “we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.” Only when we heroically risk change and growth in our own lives will we reach our full potential. Hero stories inspire us all because they call us all.
1. Who is your favorite hero?
2. what hero story do you think is the most insipring?
3. why are there so few heroes?
4. how do heroes improve our lives?
5. How can we be heroes in this age?
6. how is covid changing the defintion of who we call/define a hero?
To live is to risk it all; otherwise you’re just an inert chunk of randomly assembled molecules drifting wherever the universe blows you