What Exactly Is A Hero?

Once, many years ago, I pulled a family out of a burning car somewhere in the middle of Wyoming. Last week I received a telephone call from a woman who could not stop crying as she told me that one of my stories had saved her son from committing suicide. In closing she called me “a hero.”

That got me to thinking about what a hero really is. Was I a hero because I pulled a family from a burning car? If so, how could I be a hero just because I wrote a story that saved someone’s life?

Today I decided to look up the word “hero” in the dictionary to see exactly what it meant.

It read “A person who does something brave.”

As I read on it also said “A person who is good and noble.”

That statement impressed me more than did the part about being brave.

That got me to thinking about something very important. Say I was walking into the local Wal-Mart Store and I happened to open, and hold the door for someone as a courtesy. As they passed me by, I say “How are you today?” Most of the time that would be no big deal, but this time lets say it was for someone who is deeply depressed and near the end of the rope. That may have very well be the only kindness or courtesy show to them in a very long time.

Having been near the “end of my rope,” after my marriage of twenty years ended, I was in such a condition. I was within hours of trying to get up enough nerve to end the pain and misery. When I returned home someone had sent me a card in the mail which told me how much they appreciate me as a friend. That wonderful card probably saved my life. That person, without even knowing it, saved a life and became a hero.

I went on to write many stories which last week saved the life of a teenage boy. In turn that makes the person who sent me the card a double hero.

I suppose that is why I fight so hard to help the children now living in orphanages. Most children come out of these institutions with a very hard and vindictive attitude against the world. The gifts we send them let them know that they have not been forgotten. Hopefully, most of them will never hurt anyone because of the kindness shown to them by those of us who cared. If it works we will also become “heroes.”

Gee, who would have every thought that anyone can become a hero, and possibly save a life, just by being kind and courteous to others? The best part of all is that becoming a “hero” is free to all who wish to wear such and honor.

~ Roger Dean Kiser ~

True stories from The Life and Times of Roger Dean Kiser

My book “Runaway-Life on the Streets-The lessons learned” has finally been released. Those of you who buy an autographed copy directly from me; I will also send you a free “The Life and Times” audio CD of my stories. I believe I have about fifteen left. Autographed copies link: http://www.geocities.com/trampolineone/survive/srv080.htm

[ by: Roger Dean Kiser Copyright © 2007 (trampolineone@earthlink.net) -- submitted by: Roger Dean Kiser ]


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