What makes a hero?

Throughout our childhood, we always found someone we could look up to. We read about fictional heroes that we cheered on throughout their journey. We watched TV characters for hours on end that soon became our idols as we grew up. We also had people we greatly admired surrounding us every step of the way, whether it be our family members, teachers or peers.

We deemed these people as our heroes and idols, but what is it about someone that allows them to be held up to this admiration?

When we hear the words hero or idol, the generalization that first pops into our head is those who stand up for what they believe even if it’s against a large majority of those who disagree. We also immediately think of those who set good examples and do what’s right in their perspective.

There are many other qualities that make someone a hero or an idol, and opinions of these aspects differ between person to person.

“There are many qualities that make heroes and idols, typically things like respect, perseverance, generosity, bravery and other things that make someone a person others aspire to be,” sophomore Holly Lindsey said.

When we were younger, we took to heart the children’s books we read and the movies we watched; they each had a story with characters to remember as one of our first childhood heroes. Furthermore, we also had real life beings that we looked up to as our idols.

“I idolized normal people like my mom or whenever I saw a police officer or a fireman because I saw or heard of them doing good things for others,” sophomore Susan Lane said, “Another I have is Isabella ‘Bunny’ Bennett from this band called Steam Powered Giraffe I really love.”

“Growing up my heroes and idols were the heroes of the movies, TV shows, and books accessible to me, as well as my parents,” Lindsey said, “I would say my heroes and idols now include some of the same fictional heroes, as well as the teachers and other adults I have come across in my life who I feel have qualities and morals that I either share or aspire to have.”

Whether it was a superhero we counted on to save the day or the warrior we emboldened throughout their perseverance, all of these heroes and idols had a reason to make home in our hearts as people we hold up to a high regard.

“The reason for this was that within fictional worlds, especially those aimed at children, it is very easy to find heroes leading lives that I wanted to lead, therefore making them figures to look up to,” Lindsey said, “My parents were because they were the ones who instilled morals and rules in me as a child, and since they typically were good examples of these morals, it made them worth looking up to.”

“The fact that they help and put others before themselves,” Lane said, “They’re making a change in people’s lives even if it’s saving a life, cheering them up or just making their day better.”

No matter who our heroes are, they make an impacted on our lives. Our heroes inspire us to be the best we can be, and they bring light and hope in our darkest times. We can aspire to be like our heroes too, adopting their great qualities we had commended.

“My heroes in my life have inspired me to do what is right,” Lane said, “I do try to make a conscious effort to be selfless, creative and helpful. They’ve influenced a lot of little things and choices and even what career I’m considering doing in the future.”

Even though it may seem like childhood thing, it’s important to have heroes. Not only do they teach us lessons when we were young, our heroes and idols push us to do and achieve greater things than we had intended now and in the future. We need heroes and idols to offer hope and ambition to those looking up to them. As long as we have heroes, we’ll have more people following in their footsteps that are willing to step up and help.