Week 3 Blog — Over usage of ‘Hero’
For this week’s blog post, I will be focusing on the “Let’s Redefine Hero” reading, and will be specifically focusing on Charlie Gillis, the author, argument for why ‘Hero’ is being overused today to describe someone’s actions/behaviors that should be common practice and why its meaning is being diluted because of this over usage.
Throughout the article, the author supports his argument by arguing that the concept of a ‘Hero’ is being overused today to describe people that are not really heroic, but instead are only performing actions that should be common practice among people and/or should be their duty to perform, stating “That word [Hero], once the preserve of the brave or visionary, has somehow become a default term for anyone from dearly missed accident victims to public employees who are, well, doing their jobs”.
He gives examples of people who society had deemed to be heroes and gives reasons why these people shouldn’t be called heroes. One example he gave was the 9/11 victims who lost their lives and were later seen as heroes by many. He argues that these people shouldn’t be called heroes because they didn’t do anything heroic, but were instead victims of the given situation, including “all 2,749 innocent victims who died in the World Trade Center towers or on hijacked planes [who] were repeatedly described as heroes following the 9/11 attacks — something I can’t imagine sat well with the families of firefighters trapped in the collapsing buildings”.
Though the author does give many reasoning for his argument, it still seems he overanalyzes the usage of ‘hero’, and from this over analyzation, it would be very hard to find any person or action that could be deemed as heroic, since you can always argue that it was that person’s duty to perform, or they were only victims of their circumstances. Due to this, I find the author’s argument to be flawed since his argument could be used against anything seen as ‘heroic’ and he fails to point out that the earlier ‘heroic actions’ that he called out to be not heroic, still showed many qualities of a ‘hero’, including courage/bravery and selflessness, and does not give strong reasoning for why these qualities do no matter.