Recently there has been much hubbub about the movie American Sniper and the behavior that defines being cowardly versus being heroic. It made me think about what a hero actually is. In an effort to illustrate the difference, I have created this guide to determine heroes versus cowards.
Heroes do for others. When you read about the classic superhero, you will find a character that is always putting themselves out for others without thinking of themselves. They don't look to what's in it for them. They look to what can they do to change the situation. They will sometimes pay the ultimate sacrifice by giving up their life for another.
Anyone can be a hero. It can be something as simple as giving up your seat on a bus for someone else and then you have to stand. Giving away your place in line to someone who needs it more. Saying kind, comforting words to a hurting person even when he has been mean to you in the past. These are small things, but these small things are the foundation of what can make a person a hero.
Don't back down
When heroes do something heroic, they don't back down when people criticize them. They are confident that what they did is the right thing and move on from there. They don't live in the past glories of what they did, instead they look to moving forward to the next moment.
Heroes tend to be humble. They let others talk about the things that have made them a hero. They don't get in your face, and they don't brag. When you tell them they are a hero they will shake their heads and say anyone would have done the same thing.
I have also found that coward's exhibit certain themes, as well.
When presented with things in their lives they immediately think about how things will benefit them. How can they make money, notoriety for themselves, get more likes or retweets? It's mostly about them. When they do take the time to do something for someone else, it is often fueled by how it will make them look better.
When a coward takes a stand on something, they will most likely waver if faced with fierce opposition. If they make a definitive statement about something and enough people criticize it, they will change what they said or modify it and attempt to make others look crazy for taking their statement out of context.
Many cowards tend to be know-it-alls. They make judgments and act on things with a limited base of knowledge. Yet, they make sure not to let people know they actually have no experience concerning the things they are talking about.
Cowards tend to think they know what's best for everyone else. They look down on people who have differing opinions than their own. If you have a different opinion, they will make an attempt to make you appear foolish while making themselves appear better.
Hopefully, as you go through your day and read the various stories about heroes and cowards you will refer back to this guide and determine for yourself the real heroes and the real cowards. We all need more heroes. We don't need more cowards.