Why The World Needs Heroes


In the aftermath of a tragic moment, a hero can be born.

Heroes propel themselves from the ordinary to the extraordinary not in what they choose to do under ideal circumstances, but by what they can’t stomach avoiding in moments of immeasurable stress.

We need heroes when our world is shifted off its axis because they’re willing to pick up the pieces, no matter how crushed, damaged, or broken, and put them back together.

Heroes move while the rest of us sit mute in stunned silence. They do what others can only manage to watch. Heroes don’t have time to take pictures because they’re already working from inside the frame.

We need heroes because there is exponential strength in numbers.

If only for a moment, heroes ignore their ids and embrace their super-egos. They reject selfish and replace it with selfless. They sprint from the spotlight toward the trenches. They don’t think. They act.

We need heroes because they remind us that we’re all part of a tapestry much more rich and meaningful than the narrative of our individual lives.

Heroes don’t just rise to the occasion. They rewrite the rules.

We need heroes to inspire us. Generosity is contagious and grows without boundaries under the right conditions.

Heroes prove, by their humanitarian feats of kindness in the face of uncertainty, destruction, and death, that when the scale is tipped between good and evil, good always prevails.

We need heroes because they choose love over hate.

Heroes stand up for those who have fallen.

We need heroes because they are the living definition of patriotism and are the antidote to cowardice.

Heroes run to the places everyone else is trying to escape.

We need heroes because they make us believe in silver linings.

Heroes aren’t comic book characters pre-determined to walk the earth as Gods. They’re humans with flaws and frustrations. But in that moment when they choose to be something more? They engage. They are selfless. They serve. They overcome.

The world needs heroes because they remind us, in moments of bewilderment, confusion, and pain, that maybe, if confronted with an unexpected test of compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters, we could be heroes too.

If you would like to help the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, please contact the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army. Both organizations are providing much-needed support to survivors and first responders.

62 responses »

  1. Unfortunately, the need for heroes grows larger every day, as the number of cowards and madmen continues to soar. While good may not always prevail over evil, we can take some comfort in the fact that good people will always outnumber evil ones. Beautiful post, Stacie. You always find just the right sentiment, and express it in exactly the right words.

  2. I am so happy to see you focus on the heroes, because I don’t think they get enough attention. I just had this discussion with my sons last night. I have such admiration and respect for all first responders as well as passersby whose mission is to help others. Where would we be without them?

  3. Stacie, your posts always have a common thread with me – tears of sadness or tears from laughter. I vote you a hero today for putting into words what so many of us want to say, but we just don’t have your talent with words. Unfortunately, you’ll continue to have topics to write about as our world will continue to flood you with ideas for years to come. Great post.

  4. Heroes don’t run away, they run to the scene to help out in any way they can. I hope my children and I can be brave enough to be heroes… They trump the senseless and the cowards. Inspiring, Stacie.

  5. Great post Stacie. It’s a horrible thing to happen on one of the greatest days of the year to be a Bostonian. It’s Patriots Day, Marathon Monday, the Red Sox always play at 11 AM, Spring is in the air. Then tragedy. Luckily the marathon already has triage tents set up as well as being amidst some of the best hospitals in the world or it could have been much worse. So many people and families shattered by a senseless act of cowardice. It’s heartbreaking.

    • I can’t even imagine living in Boston right now. I’d be so sad and angry, and all “No. Not in my house.” I hope they find who did this, lock them up, and throw the key down into the deep, dark bowels of the earth.

  6. My wife and I will be running the Plattsburgh NY half marathon on Sunday. I promise to carry Martin Richard in my heart the whole way. I look at his picture and see my children, and I cry.

  7. Beautiful post, Stacie. When something like this happens, heroes show us that bravery, selflessness and compassion can overcome evil. Thank goodness for heroes! 🙂

  8. Thank you for putting into words what I cannot. You are exactly right and I agree with every word…I just can’t make it sound that pretty. *sigh* I should hire you to be my voice of sincerity.

  9. The good thing is that heroes are everywhere, disguised as normal people. Unbeknownst to them ready to jump into action when circumstances require it, surprising everybody and even themselves by doing it.

    Wish we didn’t have any use for them, though 😦

      • um… the single best thing is that we have exit interviews. I have been scripting mine all weekend. Trying to figure out how to say all the stuff we all grumble about here for years, in 10-15 minutes, but in a way where I’m not written off as another complainer and they actually HEAR clearly what the core problems are. Even if they fire me on the spot, I plan to leave them more informed than I found them. And that I’m excited about. I am not, however, excited about the potential for unemployment. We’ll see. I have 5-6 months.

  10. Pingback: The HERO Resources | Academic Giants

  11. The way America responds to a tragedy like a terrorist attack, both on a micro and a macro scale, separates it from many other countries. Growing up in Mumbai, I saw the city crippled with every attack, poor emergency response, and a cynical populace that knew not to expect any strong response from the government. The reaction to the Boston bombing has been strong, yet sensitive.

  12. The world does need them, Stacie. I think we need to redefine our definition, because I think we just assume it’ll be someone extraordinary. The man who saved the girls enslaved in the home in Cleveland was just a normal guy eating his food. No credentials, no badge. Just a person using what he had to help another person.

    • I LOVE that about the Cleveland situation (although it’s a silver lining on a very dark cloud). Thanks for commenting, Jen. Did you have your blogger hook-up, errrr, meet-up yet?

      • You’re totally right. That situation is terrible on so many levels. Hearing about the claims that people have been calling for years about their suspicions breaks my heart.

        Nope! Not until the last weekend in October. There’s still time!!!!

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