What does it takes to be considered a hero?
What does it takes to be considered a hero? According to many, a hero is a person who is remembered and honored for his courageous life and deeds. A person distinguished for valor, fortitude or bold enterprise or anyone regarded as having displayed great courage or exceptionally noble qualities.
Most heroes we knew were dead. We have learned about them in schools. Tributes, monuments, statues, busts, memorials, paper bills, coinages, name of streets, towns, states, institutions, buildings and many others are constant reminders for us for their heroic deeds.
Most of the heroes we knew were leaders during times of wars, leaders who fought for independence (like George Washington, Simon Bolivar, etc.), there were only a few who didn’t actually engaged in battles (like Jose Rizal, Mahatma Gandhi, etc.), leaders who succeeded (if they failed they would had been declared bandits not heroes) in overthrowing a corrupt regime and many others.
Have you ever heard of an ordinary soldier who died fighting for his mother land or an ordinary citizen who did a courageous act declared as a hero? Maybe, for a day or two, after that they are totally forgotten. Did they put up a single monument for them? These unsung heroes who actually fought and died face to face with the enemies were easily forgotten. On the contrary, recognitions, tributes and venerations for leaders whom they declared heroes are never ending.
Now that we are at peace, (except in some places), how can one person be a hero? Aside from those who are working and sacrificing in foreign lands for the welfare of their families, for me, modern-day heroes are the likes of Aris, Rona, Chrisanta and Maria Fe. Who are these people? They are just ordinary people with nothing but unconditional love. I was so touched by their individual story that’s why I wanted to share it to everybody. Here are their brief heroic deeds that are worth remembering and emulating;
On January 30, 1994, Aris Espinosa, a 13-year-old boy from Lanao del Norte, Philippines, did something for his friends. A grenade on the ground was about to explode near the children, Aris quickly jumped and covered the grenade with his own body. The children were saved by the courageous and unselfish act of Aris. I am sure that his soul rest in peace with the Lord in Heaven.
On May 26, 1996, a fire broke out inside a house in Divina Colonia, Sagay, Negros Occidental, Philippines. Rona Mahilum, a young girl, sustained third degree burns on her back. Despite the pain, she rescued her five brothers and sisters out of the house on fire. Then she tried to put out the fire with water from the nearby well. In 1997, Rona was cited for her bravery and heroism. After that, nothing is heard about her.
Chrisanta Seboc, a mere four-year old girl of Sta. Teresa in Jordan, Guimaras, Philippines saved the lives of her three-year-old sister and two-year-old brother from fire which engulfed their house at a time their parents were away for work. She was about to rescue another sister, an infant, when her neighbors stopped her from going into the house on fire. She cried because she could not help her. This incident happened on July 5, 1996.
Maria Fe Sotelo
Ma. Fe Sotelo, a lady security guard, achieved her dream of becoming a police officer when the national police waived its height and age requirements just for her. This was after she returned five hundred thousand pesos (P500,000.00) to a Chinese businessman who left his bag at the comfort room of the Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, Philippines on January 7, 2003. The businessman tried to gave her money as a reward but the honest lady guard politely declined the offer. She said she did not think twice about returning the money.
Whether you are somebody or just an ordinary citizen, you can be a hero in your own way by helping others and doing good deeds not because you want to be rewarded or because you want people to remember you as a kind person but you do it because it’s the right thing to do, it’s what you want to do, and you’re happy in doing it and not expecting anything in return. That’s a hero, a real hero.
I am sure that there are thousand others who are like them out there. I salute all of you. Forget all about the rewards and recognitions, fame and popularity, the most important thing is, every good deed you’ve done no matter how small, it is recognized by no less than our Almighty God.
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