The concept of hero conveys to mind various images to different people. But for me, the true meaning of hero is someone who has done something to the human race and not after personal gain; someone who is just performing his job and the process has created a difference in the community. These are not mainly the thought with regards to the notion of heroes in both the ancient societies and in today's world. As the world evolve, the meaning and the ideal model of heroes change as well. However, ancient heroes such as Gilgamesh, Odysseus, Oedipus, Rama and present heroes such as our military service members, firefighters and policemen do share similarities; similarities that function as a foundation of heroes regardless of individual's perception of heroism. Given this, to be considered a hero, one must be marked as a courageous one, someone who intentionally embarks himself or herself to defeat and overcome hurdles for the sake of others. .
Courage I think is by far what separates heroes from ordinary persons. It is possessing the mental strength to undertake, overcome, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. In the epic story of the Odyssey, Odysseus the main character was subjected to various life threatening situations such as when he and his men were captured by the Cyclops and held captive in his cave. Odysseus showed calmness in front of his men despite of ongoing slaying of his people. Through his bravery act he was able to blind the Cyclops that allowed them to sneak out the cave by hiding under sheepskins. In another instance, when Circe cast a spell on his men that turned them into pigs, Odysseus showed courage again by fearlessly giving up his freedom in exchange to his men being turned back into men. These instances proved the courageous personality Odysseus possesses. Similarly, the firefighters who altruistically climb the burning twin towers displayed bravery act by not hesitating despite of the danger and possibly death they will encounter just to perform their duty to preserve life and protect properties.