What makes a hero?

There were minutes for lightning to strike. She was so close to the conducing wire and the tree to which it has been wrapped to turn it into a lethal powerhouse. She needs to get away from the tree and the deadly wire to stay alive. She has to run away but wait, she wants to end it all and this is her chance. She wraps wire around her arrow and shot it to destruct the arena for torturous games. She shoots so that nobody suffers like she has suffered, so that arena that has been responsible for loss of lives over years can have its showdown.


So, what makes “Katniss Everdeen”, a hero? Her ability to think of ending arena even by risking her life to end suffering for future generations when she has encountered her worst fears and anxiety in the place itself.

It is this outstanding feature of  ”heroes”,  whether real or imaginary to enable suffering as a way to open their hearts instead of hardening them.

And when we talk of heroes, who can make a better example than recently departed, Nelson Mandela.  Despite spending 27 years in jail just because of his color, he came to end the apartheid. Hallmark of a hero.

Every time Nelson Mandela walks into a room, we all feel a little bigger, we all want to stand up, we all want to cheer, because we’d like to be him on our best day.- Bill Clinton in 1990

Quite contrary to the “courage” exemplified in our daily lives. Today, we like to believe that we have seen a hero when we swear loudest at the slightest provocation, nothing sort of gallantry if you are able to avenge an act by maligning the wrong-doer. Perhaps we can suggest a Param veer chakra for a person who can fight with someone who has rashly overtaken his car and thus needs to be dealt with.

We live in dangerous and difficult times not because we have “heroes” present everywhere but somewhere we have lost the idea that key ingredient of a hero lies in bringing calm and peace even in most agitated times.

So, next time you are thwarting something as commonplace as bullying, supporting as basic a cause as respecting girls or standing up for a change in mindset that sets tone for peace and forgiveness, you are letting a hero, rise.


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