What is your definition of a hero? To explaine, include why you believe this is the definition?

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For me, a hero is a person who places more concern on the lives of others than themselves. For example, the people who helped during 9-11, soldiers, police men and women, firefighters are all heroes. Simplistically, a hero is anyone who is willing to help another person regardless of the cost to their own life.

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One way to define a hero is to think of a hero (or heroine) as someone who is willing to suffer for something s/he believes in. Thus, Nelson Mandela was a hero even though (or perhaps because) he spent so much of his life in prison. As Milton memorably put it in the final book of Paradise Lost,

. . .suffering for truth's sake

Is fortitude to highest victory . . .

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I think that a hero is simply someone that we aspire to be like.  Or at least, that is one definition of a hero.  If I say that, for example, my father is my hero, it does not mean that he has gone above and beyond and risked his life or anything like that.  It simply means that he is someone I admire very much and would not mind patterning my life after.  So that is another way we can define a hero.

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A person becomes a hero/heroine when s/he does something that is above-and-beyond the expected, something that is truly out-of-the-ordinary to provide a service to another person. Post #4's list of characteristics supports this definition in more detail - all of the characteristics listed would be necessary to act in the way I am suggesting.

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I am sure that all people will have different definitions. However, I am also pretty sure that there will be a cluster of characteristics that will be in common. Let me list three characteristics that define what a hero is for me.

First, a hero must be committed to the good of humanity. That is to say, a hero must be committed to justice, the truth, and goodness. Unless a hero is committed to these things, he would be villain.

Second, a hero must be courageous. Not all people can stand up to evil. This is what makes a hero special and different. From an anthropological point of view, all cultures prize courage.

Third, heroes must be sacrificial. This is perhaps one of the hardest challenges. To give out of surplus is easier than when there has to be sacrifice.

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