What Constitutes a Hero?

In this day and age when a person deciding to intervene on another’s behalf in the midst of a crisis could well be punished with harm to his own person, it is comforting to see the human spirit triumph. A man whose own home had been damaged by the mudslides in Montecito stepped in and rescued a baby who was buried four feet under mud. This man could arguably be called a hero.

There are no superheroes to call upon in such situations of human tragedy. A kind smile, an encouraging word, a good deed are all superhero acts performed by unassuming people, people not acting out of self-interest but people who step out of their comfort zone to help another in need.

God only knows where that baby’s parents could have been. They were probably themselves swallowed by mud. A baby’s cries heard in the middle of such devastation could be a whisper of life amid tragedy, crying for expression. Will this man get any accolades after the mud settles? Probably not. But because of him, that baby will get a chance at life. Such a profound thought about the circle of life. There were dead counted among the debris, but life has a strange way of renewing itself. Death and rebirth amid human tragedy witnessed in a California town.

One never knows how one will react in an emergency situation, but it is comforting to know that life prevailed over death, certain death, and that an innocent baby’s life was spared, which is a miracle in itself.

Next time a tragedy strikes, it would be worthwhile to look for the unsung heroes whose humanitarian efforts may have altered the course of one life with a simple, unassuming word or deed. These are true heroes, not looking for fame or fortune, just your unassuming guy on the street who decides to step in and do his small part, whatever he can, who is a true hero.