Hero refers to people who, in the face of danger and adversity or from the position of underdog, display courage and self sacrifice for a ‘greater good’. Originally a term used only for military situations but not it is used for any, and all ‘excellences’.
The term hero has come now to mean near enough anyone and everyone. Those involved in the events depicted in ‘Defiance’ are quite clearly heroes but is Margaret Thatcher or an Olympic athelete? By naming such people as heroes, by using the term in statements like “oh you are such a hero, I needed that cup of tea,” the term dies a death and heroes of the past become nothing.
Andy Warhol said we shall one day all have 15 minutes of fame. Well today we all can become a hero. Both Warhol’s fame and modern herocism is meaningless. Because if everyone is rich no one is rich. So why do we name atheletes heroes at the detriment to the reputation of those who deserve the title? Maybe its because then we can all strive to be a hero. I don’t know the answer but I know what it does to the term.