Heroism has a bad rap. “Don’t be a hero” is idiom. It means slow down, don’t be unsafe, humble up. And fair enough- there are such things as too fast, dangerous, and arrogant.
But man- let me tell it to you straight. You should be a hero. We all should.
There are circumstances that warrant circumspection and moments that merit withdraw. But at the widest scope, at the core of human nature and human life, you have to be a hero. Here’s why: no heroism -> no glory -> no morale.
Glory is dignity hard won. Every human deserves dignity as a basic human right. But there is dignity that cannot be earned by lying down. Should you be found in such a state, you are owed your dignity, to be sure. But no matter how compassionate your onlookers are, there is a form of mental health that cannot be achieved without your own effortful activity. Something that someone else’s grace cannot give to you. It must be won.
What can be won? Not simply a prize. I prize can be hoped for, passively. If you are lucky with a hope, the prize may come to you while laying down. The critical feature of what can be won when it comes to glory is that it can be lost. That’s right: if you want morale, you need glory, and for glory you need a prize that you can win or lose. There is no glory in receiving a gift or stroke of good fortune. You can only earn glory in a win/lose situation. You can be a hero whether you win or lose. But you must enter win-lose situations with an active will to win. That's what it means to be a hero.
Many bad things can happen when you become a hero. You can lose, and while losing can sometimes be pleasant, there are many cases where losing is tragic. Choose your battles as wisely as you can. But you must get out there with a challenging aim and put will into it.
Easier said than done, right? But better said, nonetheless.
May we all find Glory and improve our morale along the way ;)