Being a hero is not just about solving all of the bad things in life like poverty inequality and oppression. It is also about working to promote and advance the good things in life like charity kindness gratitude and love. Speaking out against injustice is important but speaking out in favor of peace is just as valuable.
Think about things in terms of “Pro” instead of “Anti”. Be pro-peace instead of antiwar. Be pro-environment instead of just antipollution.
Be a good leader. If you are a teacher or in charge of a team at work know that you have people that look up to you. Lead them by example. If they see you thanking people for their hard work highlighting the achievements of others and going out of your way to make the classroom or work place safe they are more likely to do the same.
Be on the lookout for opportunities. A good hero is vigilant. They are aware of their surroundings and constantly on the lookout for situations where they may be of help to others. Start small. Think about the people you come across regularly in your daily life. The coworker in the cubicle next to you or the student who sits behind you in English class. What do you know about them? When might there have been an opportunity to be a hero to them in the past? How can you be ready to be a hero for them in the future?
If you are in line at the grocery store and the person behind you seems like they are in a hurry let them go through in front of you.
If you recognize that a fellow classmate is struggling in a class you excel at offer to study with them after school.
Watch for people on the subway who may need your seat. The elderly a pregnant woman someone on crutches.
Learn from your own heroes.
No one becomes a hero all on their own. Think about the people in your life who have acted like heroes. Think about the times when you felt lost or scared only to have another person come along and help you through a tough time? Maybe they were strangers. Perhaps a teacher or relative was there for you when you really needed someone. Think about what they did and how it made you feel.
You can ask some of your own heroes for advice. Ask them how they are able to put others before themselves.
Don’t be afraid to imitate.
Chances are that the way someone helped you will work for other people as well. If a friend helped you by being a good listener you can do the same for someone else.
Acting Like a Hero
Perform random acts of kindness. A hero doesn’t just intervene when they see wrong being done. A true hero is there to do good at any time. This might mean taking some extra time out of your day to perform a good deed. You can do anything from paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line at the coffee shop to helping some lost tourists find their way around the city. Other random acts of kindness you can do include:
Raking your neighbor's leaves for them.
Helping to pay a student's tuition.
Buying lunch for the office.
Washing a friend's car for them.
Buying groceries for someone in need.
Taking an elderly neighbor to an appointment.
Volunteer your time. There are many charities and nonprofit organizations across the country that volunteers. Simply donating a few hours each week to help these organizations so very much. Offer to work for a local marathon that is raising money for breast cancer or another cause you feel passionate about. You can also volunteer your time in other ways:
Help build houses for low-income families.
Join a community garden.
Get involved with your neighborhood watch.
You don’t always have to volunteer in such an official way. You can offer to help a friend move or give up some time to listen when a family member is in need of emotional support.
Volunteer your talents. First think about the things you are good at or the useful skills that you have. You can ask your friends and family what they think you excel at if you cannot think of anything specific. They will have a good idea about your strengths and how you can best utilize them to help others.
Think about how you can use your talents to help others.
Perhaps you are a great public speaker or maybe you have a talent for craft projects or building furniture. Perhaps you are a great listener and can be an empathetic ear for an elderly neighbor.
You can also use your professional skills and knowledge to help others. If you are a teacher you might volunteer some time to help tutor students who are having trouble in school. If you are an artist you might volunteer at a senior center to help teach senior citizens how to paint or sketch.
Ask someone if they could use some help. Some people such as the disabled or elderly need help but don’t know how to ask. Become the type of person who isn’t just waiting around for opportunities to be a hero by asking others if there is anything you can do for them.
Think about what you had a hard time with when you started your job. Offer to assist new employees with working the copy machine getting to know certain procedures or setting up their email.
Use small gestures. A hero understands that the little things in life can all add up. You can do small gestures like holding open the door for people or offering to take a friend out to lunch. You could give someone a ride to the airport or pay for someone's laundry at the laundromat.
Even offering someone kind words can help you grow as a hero. Say thank you to service workers. Tell a friend you appreciate them.
Give a friend a hug.
Write your teacher a thank you note.
Wave to the driver who stopped to let you cross the road even if it is at a crosswalk.
Send a family member a surprise email or text telling them you love them.
Thinking Like a Hero
Let go of your ego. A real hero knows that their actions might go unnoticed and that’s okay. Make sure that you are trying to be a hero for the right reasons. You need to be willing to help people who might not even know you have intervened on their behalf. You have to be focused more on the feeling you get from doing the good deed than receiving praise.
Find joy in seeing the smiles on other people’s faces.
Think about how you would feel having a good deed done for you. That will help you connect to the joy or change you create in another person’s life.
Initiate the change you want to see. A true hero isn’t all talk. A true hero is constantly thinking about how they can take action and help others. You may be inspired to be a hero for a certain cause or issue or you may try to be a hero for someone in need.
For example if you are passionate about the environment don’t just preach to people that they should recycle. Try to start an environmental club at your school or get your friends to help you build a compost bin in your backyard.
Maybe you are passionate about helping the homeless in your area. Rather than giving one homeless person money get involved at your local homeless shelter and hand out food and basic supplies to the homeless instead.
Put others before yourself. Think about other people needs before considering your own. When you are making decisions at work or at home take some time to think about how your actions will affect someone else. For example if you take the day off of work what kind of workload will that put on your coworkers?
Remember that everyone thinks differently. What seems comfortable or easy for you might not seem that way to other people. You might feel really confident going to a karaoke night with a bunch of strangers but your friend or date might not. Consider what others want in addition to what makes you happy.
Be ready to act when others are passive. People lead busy lives. Often a typical person is so focused on themselves they don’t notice or care to act when something is wrong. A hero will be willing to take action and confront injustice straight on.
Stick up for a friend classmate or coworker you feel is being treated unfairly. Buy a meal for the homeless person everyone keeps walking by on the street. Notice the underdog or the less fortunate and give them a helping hand.
You can also focus on creating safe spaces for individuals who suffer from injustice or prejudice. This could be advocating for a space on your campus for LGBTQ students or a club for women of color to network and connect.
You do not have to wear a cape or be a crime fighter to be a hero. No matter who you are or what you do there are opportunities to be heroic all around you. You just have to know how to think and act like a hero. Then when the opportunity arises you'll be able to come through and save the day.