Don’t be afraid to be a hero

SupermanEvery boy dreams of becoming a superhero, and knows that the costume of Spider-Man he can only wear for New year. When we grow up, we realize that we do not have any superpowers. We notice that in their ordinariness differ from those of the heroes of the books, comics and movies. As a result, the idea of becoming a hero, seems to us to be the children’s inappropriate for an adult.

So, perhaps in this world there are no villains with bright makeup on the face or driving a fast black car, but it still need heroic people who can overcome the danger and to fight for good.

In 1938, when Superman only appeared in the US, he is in the comics fought for social justice, morality and against corruption. It was created to protect innocent people, fought with corrupt laws and even domestic violence — the people needed a role model, even if it is not a real person.

At that time the people were demoralized by the great depression, Superman was the hero that the society needs. We need him today. So, we should not fight injustice, breaking into building to the highest ranks, there are other ways to fight, more accessible to ordinary people. However, for many of us, even the daily heroism seems to be as difficult a task as trying to outrun a speeding train.

What makes a person a hero

Why some people can stand by and watch injustice, while the other necessarily interfere and can’t stand on the sidelines?

Two researchers Zeno Franco and Philip Zimbardo, asked this question. They are also known for the Stanford prison experiment, which found that the government turns good men into tyrants sadistic. In the experiment, the students were divided into «prisoners» and «guards» and made to play these social roles. The experiment went out of control «guards» are too accustomed to the role, began with enthusiasm to punish the «prisoners» were cruel to him. However, it turned out that in prison there were «good guards». They insulted the prisoners as «evil guards», but did not try to prevent «evil» when they did it. As a result, they still participated in these images, allowing their fact.

Stanford prison experiment demonstrated that in certain circumstances and under the influence of social pressure normal people can do such things hate to say. And he showed that under the influence of certain circumstances and the social pressure people can act when it is most needed.

Happens all the time. I am sure each of us can recall a moment when he saw that others had a part, but just stood there and did nothing. I’ll admit it. I saw a car accident and just passing through. And I saw people treated unfairly, but said nothing because they were afraid to suffer from social exclusion.

40 years after the famous Stanford prison experiment Zimbardo has set itself the task to understand how people from cowardly inaction goes to heroic action. Analyzing big and small heroic acts, Zimbardo with his partner, Dr. Franco, has determined that the heroic people have a robust heroic imagination.

How to develop the heroic imagination

According to Zimbardo and Franco, the heroic imagination is «the ability to represent collision situations of physical or social risk; opposition to hypothetical problems that cause these situations to consider their actions and the consequences of those actions.» It is the ability of a person to see himself as a hero, to see myself capable of heroic deeds before there need those heroic deeds.

OK, good. The characters can imagine themselves committing heroic deeds. And you can be born with a heroic imagination? If I was born without it, am I doomed to eternal cowardice?

Zimbardo argues that individuals have a natural inclination for heroic behavior, but at the same time everyone has the opportunity to maintain and develop your inner hero. This is not a static characteristic. In his article «the Banality of heroism,» Zimbardo suggests five steps, through which we can develop the heroic imagination and be ready for action when the need arises.

These five traits that will strengthen your heroic imagination and force to act.

1. Notice a situation that may require heroic actions. Every day we have the opportunity to stand up for someone and be a hero. Of course, we are not required to land the plane or jump out of the car at full speed, but we can be heroes, if we help the student who laugh at the bullies; stop to help a driver whose car broke down, and all that jazz. The more you do spontaneous heroic deeds, the higher the chances that you’re going to continue to do this.

2. Don’t be afraid of conflict. When you see a situation that requires action from you, do not be afraid, stand away from-for fear before the words and actions of others. A real man doesn’t care if someone out there is upset, or someone will be uncomfortable just because he did something right. Don’t be afraid to stand up for their principles.

3. Imagine alternative scenarios for the development of this situation. We often do nothing, because do not look forward. We think about the immediate consequences, and not those that await us in the long run. Of course, you could lose your job if accused of a dirty head, but it will save the company. Think of how many people will not receive a salary for his fraud, how many he will deceive, if you’re going to continue to be silent and to put up with. In 20 years you’ll look in the mirror with pride, knowing I did the right thing.

Zimbardo offers us not only a glimpse of the future, but partially remain in the past. Read about the lives of people who in the past have made heroic acts. Learn their noble deeds, to develop the qualities and values required for the heroic imagination, which encourage you on the action in case of need.

4. Resist the temptation to rationalize and justify inaction. To act is easy, because it is easy to explain. The effect is near — simple example. It occurs in emergency situations, when in one place there are a lot of people and nobody does anything to fix the situation, because rationally believes that it will make someone else.

Don’t be this person.

Instead of looking for any excuse inaction, learn to rationalize the action. Instead of thinking «I’m not going to do anything because it will be taken care of by someone else», start to think, «I must do this because no one else will.»

5. Believe that people appreciate the heroic actions. This follows directly from the paragraph which States that we should not be afraid of the conflict that arises from the right actions. On the contrary, it is necessary to develop the confidence that people will appreciate our heroism. Your actions first can anyone not like it, but in the end people will understand what’s what, making your actions dignity and recognize you well.