I’m a bit ambivalent about the use of the word “hero” on this website and in modern culture generally. For some reason, a part of me cringes nearly every time I hear it. This reaction may be because I think we use the term too easily, as though we’ve all been infected with the “everyone-gets-a-trophy” virus. I hope it’s not because I have unacknowledged elitist tendencies that reserve hero status for only the few — the few whose qualities are a lot like my own, only far better. The part of me that is beyond cringing or not cringing, however, wants to live in a world where to be a hero takes great dedication and sacrifice, and where, at the same time, people realize they have what it takes to dedicate themselves to and sacrifice themselves for what they most love. In this world there will be no need for generic superheroes with generic superpowers — the ability to fly, x-ray visions, etc. — for we will each of us realize and cultivate our uniqueness and ipseity to heroic degrees. I imagine a space in this world for a hero whose superpower is the ability to transform suffering into compassion with a heart made powerful by its infinite weakness. She would wear no mask.
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