A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
As children, we’ve all had dreams of becoming Batman or joining the X-Men. As we grew up, we soon learned these are pretty impractical lifestyles and move on. Our experiences begin to shape our reality and self-interest far exceeds the interest of society. After all, this does make sense. We do need to compete in order to survive, right? Well, let’s look at that again. If the world is a better place, who does that benefit? Society as a whole, and guess what, you’re part of society too. So doing your part to help in ANY little way you can is enough to move society an inch forward.
The Bystander Effect: (The more people present in a time of crisis, the less likely someone is to intervene.) We all have mixed views about this phenomenon from “It’s not my business” to “I would have helped if I was there!” The reality is, we’ll never know exactly how we will act until we are actually in a similar situation. That being said, humans are social, creative creatures who have the power to think critically. If everyone is out for themselves, society will not be able to function optimally and lots of unnecessary problems will be created and existing problems will be left unsolved. As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry, the fear of standing out is so great that it’s probably the biggest cause of inaction.
That’s why we have to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations and form positive habits. Remember, short term discomfort = long term success. So if you see a bag of trash on the floor, pick it up. If someone looks like they need a hand, offer your service. Kind gestures are contagious, but it has to start with you! We can use that fear of standing out to our advantage.
This is our world and we’re in it together. We got this far, not through competition, but through creation. If we begin to see ourselves as individuals, not as a whole community, then we will begin spiraling away from the natural order of things and our society will become more and more chaotic. The real super heroes are the ones who contribute to society and move us all forward. It’s nice that Superman saves the damsel in distress, but an idea, a passion started by ONE person, can save the world.