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What Makes a Hero

Arjun Kulkarni Nov 17, 2018
What are the qualities and characteristics that transform a common person into a hero? Read on to know!
Where is the line separating a normal human being from a hero? Unlike what the movies will tell you, one really doesn't need to have superhuman powers à la comic book superheroes to be a hero yourself. You don't need to fall from another planet, nor do you need to get bitten by rare icky spiders.
Superpowers only embellish the hero, but there is always one inside of us. Well, inside most of us. A true hero is someone who possesses the qualities of one, as opposed to the physical attributes of one. He can be a small, portly black man who addresses an assembly about him having a dream for civil rights for the African-American community.
She can even be a beautiful Hollywood superstar working passionately all over the world for refugees through UNHCR, having herself adopted three kids from impoverished countries. They are amongst us, what needs to be done is just spot them. Here are some of the qualities that make a hero out of a common person.


A hero always puts others before himself/herself. They care little about themselves and are available for others whenever needed. Selflessness is one of the prime qualities that distinguishes them from the rest of us. Whether it is a burning building or the gun of a criminal, a hero always tries to save the people in danger, all at great personal risk.


A hero knows what's right and what's wrong. He/she is able to distinguish between what is correct and what is wrong, something that requires a strong conscience. Things of moral correctness are neither black nor white. These things often tread on a very gray territory. In such a situation, a hero knows who to side with and what the correct thing to do is.


Picking up from the point about conscience, upholding the morally right option often needs courage. Sometimes, a hero needs to jump off the bandwagon to uphold what is right, and here is where he/she must not falter. And to not falter, he/she needs great courage and mental strength.


Apart from his bizarrely expansive family wealth, Batman had little to fall back on apart from his sound intelligence. Tackling the evil forces is often a mental battle, and one of the characteristics of a hero is to be have the bottle to fight it.
A lot of fights are won with just presence of mind and a sense of good timing. Intelligence often negates the need for brute force, hence it is one of the very important characteristics of a true hero.


While several of us may be in possession of the mentioned admirable traits, very few of us would come forward to display them. A slightly off-track quality perhaps, but initiative goes a long way in making a good hero.
Suppose that a person has courage, intelligence, conscience and selflessness, but wastes it sitting on the couch. Is he/she a hero then? Not quite. A hero will ensure to make the best of his/her gifts, and with leadership skills try to help people. They say a man who comes forward in adversity is a true hero as opposed to someone who jumps on the bandwagon.
A hero is someone who stands up for what is right and fights tooth and nail to achieve it. He/she does not lie down in face of injustice, but stands up and achieves the greater good, irrespective of adversities.
A hero stands up for what is right and fights to achieve it. He/she does not tolerate injustice and stands up and achieves the greater good irrespective of adversities.