Saturday, 2 September 2017

Everyday Heroes

Usually, we see heroes as special people who do incredible things and win people’s hearts. So, they must be a celebrity. A simple dictionary definition of a hero is “a person who, in the opinion of others, has special achievements, abilities, or personal qualities and is regarded as a role model or ideal.” And obviously they must be popular.

However, it is not always necessary that one should have special qualities to be a hero. Everyday heroes are just as ordinary as any one of us but they do something extraordinary and get noticed. Even if they do not get noticed it does not matter to them.
Photo: The Kathmandu Post

For instance, a couple of weeks ago a school girl grabbed the public attention by her genuine gesture towards humanity. It was a rainy day and the streets of Kathmandu Valley were flooded. Sujana Gole, a ninth grader, was returning home from school when she saw a man in a wheelchair, who was stuck on a flooded street in Bauddha. Without losing a second she rushed towards the man and started pulling him out to rescue him. A photojournalist was there right on time to capture this moment with his camera, and this photo created a ripple on social media. Regardless of whatever people commented on her great deed it was not a big deal for Sujata. She made it clear in an interview, “I was just doing what I felt was the right thing to do at that moment.” 
Similarly, there was a recent news story about a 24 year-old-girl, Sarita Maharjan, who happily donated her liver to her father who had serious complications with his liver. Sujata and Sarita were lucky as the media noticed them and publicized their inspirational stories. On the other hand, there are many other people in our society who do great things but such things never get acknowledged. For example, a mother in a family performs a lot of duties to make the family happy and functional; she takes care of every member’s needs without expecting any reward, praise or fame in return.

Everyday heroes possess some fine traits. They do not have any hunger for publicity; it is their instinct which pushes them towards helping others; they think they are doing ordinary actions to express kindness, courage or love but these actions wind up having an extraordinary impact on other people’s lives.

A Stanford University professor, Philip Zimbardo, conducted a study on 4,000 adults and found that 20 per cent of them qualified as everyday heroes. For him, such heroes had helped others during a dangerous emergency, taken a stand against injustice, or sacrificed for a stranger. According to Zimbardo, “Heroes are ordinary people. You become a hero by doing an extraordinary deed.” 

As humans we all have the capacity to be an everyday hero. Looking at our current situation, for instance, several parts of the nation are suffering from flash floods and landslides. All the volunteers working to help the victims are heroes. They choose to travel to the flood affected areas in order to try and make a difference in others’ lives, even though they are putting their life at risk by doing so.

(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, August 18, 2017 

[The pictures on this blog are posted here with permission from their owners or have been gathered from various sources on the Internet. If you are the copyright-holder to any of the photographs herein do not hesitate to contact me. They will be swiftly removed if desired so.]

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