By Samantha Jones | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
As we grow up, our definition of a hero changes. Children often look up to superheroes like Superman, actors they see on the Disney Channel and even their parents from time to time. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of a hero is a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability, an illustrious warrior or even a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities, who shows great courage.
While children certainly are more impressionable and readily admit who they see as a superhero or role model, adults and teens alike are less forthcoming about the people they admire. Whether you realize it or not, we all have heroes. In theory, I’m sure many of you would say that a hero is someone who makes a difference, improves the world, takes risks, or has achieved a goal that you have. But in reality, our society has defined a new definition of a hero, one that is shocking and downright embarrassing. We revere reality stars, business moguls, and politicians alike simply for their notoriety, while the true heroes are forgotten.
Let’s be honest here, the majority of Americans will readily acknowledge the latest episode of Jersey Shore or SNL. Celebrities and their glamorous lives seem to captivate our attention. Tabloids are overtaking credible and accurate publications and entertainment shows accrue more viewers than news programs or programs about current heroes. I’m willing to bet that 99 percent of the students on this campus know the names of the Kardashian sisters, but that less than one percent knows about the horrors of children who are raped in Haiti every day.
Sure, I will admit that from time to time I enjoy escaping from my reality in the latest season of reality shows like The Bachelor. However, I balance this out with news outlets to know what is going on in the world around me. This true “reality check” lets me see the unforgotten heroes of our world today: the soldiers, single parents, caregivers, nurses, doctors, teachers.
I believe that a true hero, a true remodel, is someone who is brave, courageous, selfless, often the ones we forget. Their humility is a testament to how incredible they truly are, but we should remember to emulate ourselves after them and make it our life’s goal to thank them and continue their efforts.
As we finish another school year, use this break as your chance to reevaluate your definition of a hero. Do you want to spend your time trying to keep up with the Kardashians or your 1,000 friends on Facebook? Didn’t think so. Put down the electronics and detach yourself from our self-absorbed culture to look beyond yourself and thank the heroes in your life. Write letters to a soldier, volunteer, or even spend time with your family. It doesn’t matter what we do, it’s just important that we break out of this rut.