Webster's Dictionary defines the word hero as a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities; one that shows great courage. The song Hero, popularized by Mariah Carey says that a hero lies in each and every one of us. A woman trapped in a burning house may consider the fireman who saved her a hero. A young child may perceive Superman, Spiderman or Wonder Woman his hero.
We all have a definition of a hero, whether it is based on courageous acts or simply the wisdom and fortitude to do what is right. I believe that heroes possess and display the highest level of charity. Without charity people would not do heroic deeds. They manifest selfless dedication and willingness to do whatever is needed to protect his people while seeking no glory for himself. Charity is a way of life for the hero I speak of today and most true heroes do not think of themselves as such. My own definition of a hero is an individual of elevated moral stature and superior ability who pursues his goals indefatigably in the face of powerful antagonist(s). Because of his devotion to the good, no matter the opposition, a hero attains spiritual grandeur; even in he fails to achieve practical victory.
My heroes have changed over the years, because my perception of what a hero is has changed. These heroes have included my dad - the man who could lift heavy objects with only one hand - to Clark Kent, from the Smallville series, to Mahatma Gandhi, the man who liberated India from British slavery though passive remonstration.
The definition of a hero is just as complicated as knowing why heroes do what they do. When we understand the definition of a hero we can comprehend the why. My definition of a hero is a person who has many traits and a foundation from which those traits arise. The foundation can be one of religious beliefs, family upbringing, and survival instincts, just to mention a few. The traits I speak of are virtues, and they have everything to do with the character of the individual.