What does it mean to be a hero? In the movies, it’s often someone wielding a hammer, swinging building to building, or foiling a villain bent on world destruction. It’s easy to see why people are captivated by these larger-than-life figures. But do you need a cape or superpowers to be a hero?
Webster’s Dictionary definition of a hero is:
A: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
B: an illustrious warrior
C a person admired for achievements and noble qualities
D: one who shows great courage
Often, we get caught up in A and B—but are those the true underlying qualities that define a hero? Let’s look at Captain America. What makes him beloved?
He continuously puts other first.
It’s no coincidence that Captain American wields a shield, not a sword. He dedicates himself to keeping others safe through caring and compassion.
He doesn’t seek attention.
You won’t see him in any victory parades or press conferences. “I am Iron Man” is not his style. Others follow him because of his dedication to them.
Steve Rogers wasn’t a billionaire, a high-ranking official or a person of prestige. He was an average person who wanted to help his country and found himself in a position to do so.
He brings out the best in people.
Captain America brings together an ensemble of distinctly different people—each with their own problems and abilities—and inspires them to work together for a common good.
He never gives up.
Through ups and downs and in tough moments, he perseveres and encourages others to fight on.
None of those qualities are superhuman. In fact, they seem to align with parts C and D in our definition of a hero.
Of course, every hero needs a villain, but not all villains have faces or a sinister agenda. Over the past few months, the COVID-19 virus has steadily crept across the world. It has attacked every aspect of life for billions of people worldwide. Throughout this struggle, there have been countless people, across many different sectors, exhibiting the same qualities discussed above.
They are the heroes we don’t so readily talk about. The doctors and nurses battling the rapid influx of infected people while still taking care of pre-existing patients. The emergency workers in the field assisting our communities. The utility workers manning vital installations 24/7 to keep the lights on, the Wi-Fi enabled, and the water running. They all play a key role in this global crisis. The transportation and delivery workers keeping our supply chain running.
Equally as important are the retail workers who continue to work the checkout counters, stock the shelves of the supermarkets, and ensure people are fed and supplied. To say they are working under extreme conditions is putting it mildly. Amidst people’s fears and needs, many retailers are experiencing upwards of 100 percent increase in demand. E-commerce pickups and home grocery deliveries are backed up weeks on fulfillment time. It would be difficult for retailers to overcome this unexpected rush for products even under normal circumstances.
The retail workers fighting through this crisis do not have the benefit of working from home. With an uncertain road ahead, these workers will continue to play a vital service to our communities. They are battling through long hours, frightened customers, childcare needs at home and risk of exposure to the virus. We cannot take them for granted.
There are a few things we can do in order to show appreciation:
- Be understanding of the situation and the strain on stores’ ability to keep up with the extreme demand.
- Comply with temporary store policies such as restricted hours and quantity of purchase intended to help keep everyone safe and supplied.
- Practice social distancing while in stores.
- Purchase only essential items to limit time in store and reduce exposure.
- Take a moment to say thank you to those keeping the stores running.
As Captain America fought for his team, ordinary people everywhere are fighting for each other. The most important aspect of a hero is someone who continuously shows great courage in uncertain times and works forward for the benefit of everyone. On behalf of Logile, thank you to all those heroes who continue to persevere. Stay safe!
For additional guidance and reading around COVID-19, check out the following: