Friday, July 30, 2004

Reluctant Heroes

If you're a reluctant hero, does that make you less of a hero?

Obviously, there are certain criterias that must be addressed. I mean if your only concern was the act in itself, then whether you were coerced into doing so or not makes no difference. Somebody who saves a drowning boy, for example, nonetheless saves a drowning boy, whether it was due to sincere concern for the person or because of a more selfish incentive (such as gaining fame, or impressing the child's sister).

There's also the fact that some people, whether due to too much humility or merely lack of self-confidence, would otherwise refuse to be a hero or take the position of a hero unless it is thrusted to him/her. That's not to say that they aren't capable, but would merely avoid the situation unless totally necessary.

When taking into account the mentality of the person, a more pro-active hero would be preferred over a passive one. But sometimes, too much of the former might change the person from hero to villain (which can be interpreted by some as Hitler's case, where too much nationalism became a vice), while some can take refuge in the fact that the latter only exists because it was necessary and no other options (which has a good chance of succeeding) were available (such as the case of the Philippine's first female president, Cory Aquino).

In the end, I'd like to think that a lot of us are reluctant heroes. We don't actively seek problems, but when faced with them, we do our best to cope with it and eventually overcome it. And when it comes to the welfare of our fellow human beings, we might not plan at the start to save this or that person, but end up doing so as a result of our actions in a particular scenario. Are we less of a human being for being so? No, definitely not. Are we Heroes? Well, that's probably best answered by our peers. Should it matter what they think? Personally, as long as I can live with my conscience, it doesn't matter whether I'm a hero or not.


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