Heroes in Waiting

I watched a TED talk by Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the Stanford Prison Experiment and was an expert witness in the Abu Ghraib prison trial, on what makes us become either monsters or heroes.  First, if you do not know what TED is, I highly recommend it!  It is free online lectures and talks on a wide variety of topics – http://www.TED.com – check it out.

Zimbardo, went on to use a phrase during his talk that I absolutely love – “heroes in waiting.”  What beautiful words.  He goes on to describe that we, as a society, have the wrong idea of heroism and who we call heroes.  We think that heroes require abnormal strength and intelligence, that our heroes are special people made of a special fabric.  Zimbardo believes, and I agree, that heroes are everyday people.  They are the stay at home mom, the working dad, students, teachers, you and me.  Your race, occupation, age, gender are irrelevant.  What defines a hero is action.

We never know when or where we will be called to act for good, but when we find ourselves in that moment where we can either act or standby and do nothing, what will we do?

We are all heroes in waiting.

One thought on “Heroes in Waiting

  1. Hey Greg, a quick note. I am very impressed with your blogs and how they relate to life outside of lacrosse.
    I wanted to mention another group of heroes. As a former Naval Aviator I am very intrigued and impressed by Navy SEALs. They are a great motivation to many in this time of unorthodox combat. I wanted to leave you with an excerpt from a book I recently read that mirrors what I have initially experienced from reading your blogs. It is from the forward to “The Finishing School” by Dick Crouch. The forward was written by Bob Kerry.
    “However, what struck me in reading Dick Crouch’s story is the importance and value of human characteristics that have nothing to do with either physical strength or intellectual capacity. I was impressed with the emphasis on the character of these remarkable trainees. Today a man’s character is more likely to disqualify him from earning a SEAL’s Trident than any physical or mental failing.
    Character includes such things as self-discipline, modesty, team-work, consideration for others, and the ability to dial down as quickly as dialing up the aggression needed to be a successful warrior. SEALS are taught to do a job right the first time, to subtract complaints from verbal arsenals, to accept real-time criticism or performance, and to never cease the active effort to learn how to do their jobs better.”

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