It would be challenging to define a hero. People apply different standards; this could be affected by their biases, culture and upbringing. Like in the Philippine context, there is a criteria to follow and process to undergo before one can be recognized as a National Hero. For me, heroism is fundamental. Each and every one of us has a hero inside us; it just needs to be acknowledged and given recognition.
Back in High School, our principal taught us the importance of ARK or Acts of Random Kindness. These actions can be as simple as offering a smile to someone, picking up the trash and lending an ear. At first glance, these actions are unassuming and easy to do. What makes it significant is its impact. Smiling is infectious and anyone’s mood will instantly lighten up. For someone having a bad day, an honest smile from a friend or stranger could make his or her day. In that person’s eyes, you are a hero. Practicing CLAYGO (Clean as You Go) is a simple action that helps you, others and Mother Earth.
It’s our actions that make us heroes but a great show of bravery or sacrifice is not needed to be a hero, what matters more is the intention behind that deed. If you do something good that’s admirable but more so if that action was done selflessly. Doing something for the sake of complying (without knowing for whom or what its’ for) isn’t heroic; it just makes you indifferent. And a hero is never indifferent.