According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a hero is "A man (or occasionally a woman) of superhuman strength, courage, or ability, favoured by the gods; esp. one regarded as semi-divine and immortal. Also in extended use, denoting similar figures in non-classical myths or legends."

But that definition seems to have evolved. No longer is strength or courage a sign of being a hero. Today, it seems that for many people being a hero simply means doing the right thing.

On YouTube, there's a series called "What Would You Do?" with hundreds of thousands of views. The show presents scenarios in which people have the opportunity to do the right thing. Famous examples show teens bullying another teen who stutters, people being racist or people being downright mean.

In some of these situations, the people might have been heroes; however, in several cases, they were simply people doing the right thing.

Human decency didn’t used to be synonymous with heroism, but today that seems to be shifted.

A junior high teacher recently asked her eighth grade class if certain acts made somebody a hero. They were asked if being nice to somebody made them a hero. They all said yes. It was the same response when they were asked if telling the cops they had burnt down the town would be heroic.

While these can be considered heroic actions, it seems like they were merely doing the right thing.

When what used to be considered to be human decency shifts and changes to be considered heroic, I think we have to question the moral of society. Being a decent person isn’t “heroic” at least it shouldn’t be; it should be a person being a good person.

Being a hero should extend to more than showing basic human decency. Heroism should mean going above and beyond simply being a morally decent person.

About the Author


Danica is a professional editor and a freelance writer. She is passionate about books and can always be found with a good book in hand.