This is one of those rare times I attempt to shock you into reading a post via an interestingly vague title. But, I am serious: Kill the hero.
The concept of hero has many meanings. The one I want to focus on is this:
Man stops thief from taking purse from old, defenseless lady. He’s now a hero. The man replies “I’m no hero; I just did what I thought was right”.
Right there. We live in a world that doesn’t expect you to do the right thing. When you do, you get a parade. We need to end this. We need to be in a place where everybody is doing their part to stop bad to the point it’s virtually taken for granted.
Some say that a hero is indeed not a hero. In a split second, true character shows. What will you do when you find a wallet with $1,000? What want to do and what you end up doing are different things, although the first thing can often influence the second thing.
Isn’t this something? I’ve used this blog to promote such people. Yet, I tell the story. I don’t promote someone as a hero. I promote the action.
I believe that showing gratitude for the right things people do is important. So, what exactly am I killing here? I am killing the idea that a hero exists. Hero. I hate that it tends to be reserved for the special. The rare. Occasional at best.
It’s time being a hero is nothing. It’s time for us to indeed reward the people who do right, but out of gratitude. We don’t need a big story. It shouldn’t be that way.
Here’s the thing: Some people only do the right thing in the expectation they will be compensated for their efforts. They see the celebration others get and want to boost their status.
But see, if everybody is doing the right thing, it becomes part of the expected behavior. Yeah, that good deed should’ve been done. Not because of potential status; but because that’s the way it is.
There it is. That phrase “that’s the way it is”. We use that a lot. Generations go by and the meaning behind different rules and expectations is such of that’s how it was. We don’t remember why as the years go by as a society, but we embrace it.
It’s time the hero entered that status. We do things because that’s how it is. So you better fall in line and do good too. When little Marcus asks why we help that lady without asking, we need to be saying “It’s the right thing to do”.
But, unfortunately, this is easier said than done. We are scared to do the right thing because we fear of it backfiring on us. The famous Good Samaritan law says that you are protected from legal ramifications if helping someone cause them injury. Why did we need this?
We needed that because someone decided to do the right thing. One story is a man saved another from choking to death. While performing the Heimlich maneuver, the hero broke the “damsel in distress'” ribs. Next thing you know, the hero is sued to cover the medical bills. Tragic.
We’re scared to do the right thing. So, people who are fully capable of helping others fall back and let it play out. It’s a real life reality TV show or something.
When we eliminate the fear of consequence and the expected reward, we will kill the hero. There are other factors as well but these two are a good start.