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What is your definition of a "hero"?

My class in school has been discussing this plenty over the past week. The "hero" that pops into everyone's minds now a-days is the stereotypical spandex, underwear on the outside, fit, strong, supernatural powers kind. Is this what pops into everyone's mind? And why is it that we have to think of hero's in this way when actual heroes with no kind of supernatural powers actually walk and live on earth everyday without getting much credit, unless they die or really do something extraordinary. Well weren't/ aren't they doing something extraordinary every single day?

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    Oct 5 2011: I think all too often we mean role model when we say hero.

    Coined in English 1387, the word hero comes from the Greek "ἥρως" (heros), "hero, warrior",[2] literally "protector" or "defender"[3] the postulated original forms of these words being *ἥρϝως, hērwōs, and *ἭρFα, Hērwā, respectively. It is also thought to be a cognate of the Latin verb servo (original meaning: to preserve whole) and of the Avestan verb haurvaiti (to keep vigil over), although the original Proto-Indoeuropean root is unclear.

    According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the Indo-European root is *ser meaning "to protect". According to Eric Partridge in Origins, the Greek word Hērōs "is akin to" the Latin seruāre, meaning to safeguard. Partridge concludes, "The basic sense of both Hera and hero would therefore be 'protector'."
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    Oct 6 2011: a hero is someone who is humble – a humble hero. a hero must be humble!
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    Oct 5 2011: Perhaps if you identify your hero's definitions will emerge. If one selects entertainers or sports figures their definition would be substantially different than defining Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandala as hero's.

    Were German or Japanese soldiers hero's during wold war 2 or it is strictly a cultural phenomenon, meaning a hero's is culturally defined? Or religiously defined?

    Who ones hero's are says volumes about their concepts of society and value's.
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    Oct 5 2011: A hero is willing to break the law or any set of rules if they stand between him and his ideals.
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    Oct 5 2011: In five minutes . . . . A person who defends another on principle, without regard for themselves, in a potentially dangerous situation, either physical or economical.
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      Oct 5 2011: I like this one but I am out of thumbs up.