Jun 30, 2015

    It's easy to be a hero

    THE word "hero" is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as a person who is admired for his courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.

    We all need heroes. It is an innate desire in humans to look up to someone as our role model, mentor, comforter, corrector and protector.

    Historic figures such as Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa are examples of heroes who made a lifelong impact with their stand for equality and for the poor respectively.

    There are also many unsung, unassuming heroes in our midst, and these include our parents, teachers, soldiers, firefighters and humanitarian volunteers.

    We often look around for heroes. For a change, why not be a hero to someone?


    Scott Allison and George Goethals conducted a study in 2012, in which people of different ages were asked to list down their personal heroes. About a third of the time, family members were listed.

    Our heroes at home, particularly our parents, need a break once in a while. Why not be a hero to them by helping mum with the cooking and ironing clothes, and dad with washing his car?

    When you see one of your siblings feeling all worn out after a stressful day at work, you can offer a quick massage on their shoulders to relax them.


    If you are a leader in your workplace, get to know your colleagues on a more personal level. Heroes, after all, ought to be personal. Otherwise, you are just an idol on a pedestal, far from your team's reach.

    Stand up for your team members if you are aware they are being treated disrespectfully by other colleagues or clients. Also, be aware of what motivates or frustrates your teammates at work.

    In a reversal of roles, if you see your leader overwhelmed by work, be the first in line to support and fill in the work gaps for him.

    Drop them reminders not to skip lunch even when they are busy, or convey words of encouragement when things get tough at work.

    Among co-workers, be there for them when they need someone to talk to, and keep discussions private if they are meant to be so.

    Being a hero is not limited to just our home and workplace. It can happen anywhere: while you are crossing the road, driving or out shopping.

    We may not have a chance to be Meher Khalil - a bus driver who saved Sri Lanka's cricket team from a deadly attack - or Chesley Sullenberger - a pilot who successfully made an emergency landing on the Hudson River - in our lifetime.

    But we can always identify opportunities to perform small heroic acts of kindness and selflessness on a daily basis.


    For more reports on the go, check out the "MyPaper" iOS and Android apps.