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Is a hero someone who risks their life just doing something they want?

(50 Posts)
adaunas Thu 05-Jan-17 19:06:28

Not sure I think Donald Campbell qualifies as a hero just for getting killed doing something he wanted to do, in an environment with known potential hazards, in a vehicle that had been proven to have some safety issues in the trials.

Luckygirl Tue 28-Feb-17 13:56:41

TBH I always sigh when I hear on the news that a group of brave and selfless people are risking their lives to save people who have gone out and done foolishly risky things and got themselves into trouble.

Elrel Tue 28-Feb-17 10:47:01

Faye - I agree with your neat definition and with other posters who consider that heroism involves putting oneself at risk to help someone else.

Deedaa Tue 21-Feb-17 20:47:09

I think Donald Campbell was a hero because he was always trying to emulate his father but was actually terrified by the whole thing. Without his father to live up to I expect he'd have been quite happy with a normal life.

THe real heros are people who suddenly find them selves in situations they could never have imagined and achieve things they would never have thought possible.

Eloethan Mon 20-Feb-17 22:05:03

Even though the dictionary definition is different, my personal interpretation of the word hero is someone who puts him/herself at unusual and grave risk for the benefit of someone else.

Wabisabi Mon 20-Feb-17 21:41:27

I'm not sure I agree that a hero has to save someone. Being frightened, in genuine, perhaps even mortal, fear, and doing something anyway is heroic.

Two people could perform the same act for different reasons and with different personal responses and one could be a hero, and the other an idiot.
To drive a car at the limits of its engineering, in the knowledge any single failure could be fatal and genuinely believe the results of doing so would benefit mankind through the developed understanding of science and engineering, heroic.
Driving a car really fast, to own a world record, make more money be more famous and be unreasonably confident of success ..more the idiot.

M0nica Sat 07-Jan-17 17:41:09

I think there is a real difference between a brave and courageous man (Campbell, Fiennes, Senna etc etc)and a hero. A hero is someone who does something exceptional, beyond the call of normal duty, usually to save life or protect something.

It is clear in the military because they have awards, from the VC downwards, for the soldier who goes to exceptional lengths, beyond what is required of them, to do their job. It usually includes putting their life at risk when their military duty did not require it

Jill Saward was a hero. She rose above the terrible event that happening to her to use her experience to help other people, especially those who had experiences similar to hers. No one would have felt anything but admiration for her if she had just picked up the thread of normal work and family life and continued life quietly. By going public on this when people didn't and doing what she did for rape victims, she went above and beyond what was expected.

newnanny Sat 07-Jan-17 01:09:56

Not a hero in my world. A hero for me would be have to be a person who regularly went out of their way to help others achieve a better life, with a possible cost to themselves. I would call him more of an adventurer than a hero.

MargaretX Fri 06-Jan-17 22:02:35

I heard an account of the terrorietic attack in that night club in Instambul. The young woman said her husband pushed her down and told her to lie flat and he lay on top of her and was shot three times. He wanted to protect her and did it at the cost of his own life and health.

I think heroic actions come from a deep down in a person and not from going on extreme sporting trips to far away places.

Legs55 Fri 06-Jan-17 18:08:51

I disagree about Jill Seward - to me she is not a hero/heroine, she was very courageous in doing what she has done but that doesn't make her a heroine in my eyes - I know many will disagree with mehmm

A Hero/Heroine to me is some-one who Voluntarily acts to rescue/save some-one, Lifeboat crew, Hill & Cave Rescue, Mountain Rescue - these people are true Heros to me. My Geography Teacher was a member of Mountain & Cave Rescue in Yorkshire Dalessmile

acanthus Fri 06-Jan-17 14:22:10

adaunus, I had exactly the same reaction as you when I saw the news item on Donald Campbell. As others have said, the word 'hero' is greatly overused. True heroism is putting other people's safety before your own in hazardous situations, regardless of whether you are being paid for your job or not. I'm sure paramedics, police and firemen feel fear, revulsion etc. at the things they have to do and often act above and beyond the call of duty.
Somewhere in the loft I have 'The Girls' Book of Heroines' from my Fifties childhood - two heroines which stick in my memory are Grace Darling and Nurse Edith Cavell, sadly hardly remembered nowadays. For me they epitomise true heroism.

Anniebach Fri 06-Jan-17 14:07:54

Judging what is heroic is the same as judging what is beauty

Nelliemaggs Fri 06-Jan-17 13:42:43

All those wonderful medics and others who work for Médecins sans Frontières, saving lives while in acute danger are heroes to me.

paddyann Fri 06-Jan-17 13:31:35

I dont believe the military are all heroes ,neither are doctors and nurses etc.they may save lives but thats just their job,thats what they signed up to do .

sarahellenwhitney Fri 06-Jan-17 13:26:46

Adaunas .My interpretation of a hero/heroes are those men and women who give their life to allow others to live in safety, our military and what about our doctors and nurses etc They too save lives. how many of these go unnoticed.
Musicians, in particular pop stars, sportsmen/women, clothes designers, mountaineers etc do it because they enjoy it. They may give us pleasure but they are not heroes.

Marianne1953 Fri 06-Jan-17 13:13:32

I think people have their own idea of what a hero is. Mine would be someone with courage to save another without any concern of the hero's wellbeing or perhaps speaking out for someone, when all others are against you.
For instance, I don't think a sports person would be counted as a hero unless they have gone their capabilities e.g. Some disabled people. However, as a straight meaning he would count as a hero

marionk Fri 06-Jan-17 11:11:55

I do wonder who pays for rescuing these 'heroes' when they get into difficulties, as they often do. Who would rescue me if I just went off piste?

Dee Fri 06-Jan-17 10:56:24

Absolutely agree Grannie Queen, Jill Sawards is a true hero. She stood up for rape victims who were so badly mistreated by the courts and made such a difference. Its important we keep up the work she started.

radicalnan Fri 06-Jan-17 10:31:31

Jill Saward an outstanding hero.

Surely someone is a hero, when, unprepared for events, rises to the occasion and survives and deals with them well?

People who have demanding jobs or enjoy thrill seeking sports and expeditions, choose those things, they may well be inspirational to others who want to follow in their footsteps but not heroic.

I grow weary of the bloody adventurers and explorers, who take risks to gratify themselves and write books about it and expect us to view them as heroes.......adventurers they may be, heroes not.

rosesarered Fri 06-Jan-17 09:53:42

We can all admire, star quality, charm, committment to a physical regime ( what swimmers have to do!) and athletes of all types if they want to get to the top.
It's not heroism though is it?
then there is the daring and brave act of heroism to save another life, and there is also what I would call the everyday quiet heroism ( aambulance service/ paramedics everywhere) who for years do this demanding and sometimes thankless task.

gillybob Fri 06-Jan-17 09:40:30

I agree that Footballers, pop stars are most definitely not hero's BPJ although they are often "hero worshipped" which is quite different.

Anya Fri 06-Jan-17 09:37:03

It's the everyday folks who are heroes. Those who get up every morning, try their best for their families, look after their old folk and sick partners and just get on with things.

BPJ Fri 06-Jan-17 09:35:39

Compared him to a footballer who manages to score a couple of goals

gillybob Fri 06-Jan-17 09:32:01

I don't think that police officers, paramedics, fire-fighters etc. are automatically hero's just because they choose those particular careers. Although I do think that sometimes there are people within those services that become hero's or perform an act of heroism in the course of their duty.

Faye Fri 06-Jan-17 09:30:47

To me a hero is someone who risks their life to save another person!

rosesarered Fri 06-Jan-17 09:25:38

I think soldiers/police are a different case ab
my family has a strong police background, with many family members giving a long service ( and I know that your DH was a police officer too) and although they could certainly be heroic, depending on circumstances, most of them enjoy the job, the thrill of the chase,and all the younger ones that my SIL knows do it for that reason, because it has elements of excitement.They ( and soldiers) have a lot in common, in that regard.Of course any soldier and policeman can be heroic, and many are at times.
Ambulance men/paramedics are doing the job solely to help their fellow man.
Anyone may feel free to disagree with me btw smile