The reason that he is a hero to some people is because they value courage. They
wish they had the courage to do different things in their lives and to overcome
different fears. Seeing someone overcome great fear makes them wish and think
that perhaps they can also overcome great fear. The problem of
course is that this is manufactured danger... which makes it unworthy to glorify
and foolish to attempt.
Anyone who has a computer probably has seen hundreds of videos of youth, mainly
teen aged boys attempting all sorts of ridiculous stunts, hoping for their 15
minutes of fame. Unfortunately many end up losing their lives or suffering
permanent injuries for their foolishness. (And I hope there are not more of
these because of the example we have just seen). We all did foolish things as a
child. Hopefully by the time we are grown, we have the wisdom to know what we
can do and cannot do. Those who excell in their craft can be admired for their
dedication and their effort, but I agree, we need to save the word
'hero' for those who rise above the call when circumstances require it
of them. Your examples are indeed heroes.
Having an opinion isn't the same as having the experience. Being courageous
is what it takes before your brave. That's what it takes to be a hero.
I will agree with you that there are many "unsung" heroes in the world
and athletes are not necessarily heroes. However to many people those
athletes who are the very best are looked upon as heroes. And some of that
consideration is earned by the hours, weeks, and years they have put in to
accomplish their goal of being the best at what they do.
I definitely don't think athletes are heroes. Wallenda is not exactly a
hero, but I really admire him for having the courage to display his faith openly
while he was risking his life. I think in this day and age that takes some
courage. I'm not an evangelical and I wouldn't display my faith in
quite that way, but I admire him for doing it with no apology.
Hmmm... I agree with Jason on most of this, but when he said "Call Wallenda
and his family anything you want —just don’t call them heroes,"
he just contradicted himself.(For anyone who can't see what I
mean, it's this: for some people, not calling Nick a "hero" means
not being able to call him anything they want. So as the logic goes, you can
only have one or the other.)
I've always believed a hero is one who saves or prevents the loss of life.
A man that defies common sense because it is a thrill to him is not a hero. He
has a lack of respect and regard for his own life and is deceived in thinking he
can do these foolish things and will be safe. A hero is a Veteran, Police
Officer, Fireman anyone who is in the position to save previous lives.
Never met a naysayer that even came close to being a hero. Usually, a naysayer
is the opposite. In fact, naysayers are so far removed from doing heroic things
that they'd probably be better off not proving it...as you just did with
your pointless article---an article that I believe lowered people's view
and expectations for the amazing variety of life on our planet, rather than
The term 'hero' is heavily overused, and way too broadly defined. I
don't believe we can find heroes in entertainment, or athletic endeavour.
These hoobs who have enough time and money to drive around the midwest hoping to
see a tornado tear someones' life apart aren't heroes. Heroism comes
at unexpected times, from unexpected sources. It comes from those who actively
seek to serve and help others.
While Wallenda was most certainly: a) brave or B) foolish is a perception each
viewer could make for themselves. However, that said, his dare devil walk was
NOT over the Grand Canyon you see in photos and video. It was over a much, much
smaller canyon - although, I am thinking a 1500 foot fall would have been tragic
whether it was into the Grand Canyon or another smaller canyon. in order to
bring viewership up they promoted this as the Grand Canyon- which it was not. A
play on words seemed to work for them, though, as millions tuned in to watch. I
was not among the viewers. I , also, live in Arizona.
To me, a hero is someone who, in the face of overwhelming odds, selflessly does
something for someone else and not for him or herself.While walking
a tightrope across a wide chasm is brave and requires courage, stamina and good
balance, it's not really the stuff of heroes because the participant is not
doing to for anything more than providing a spectacle for others; or in other
words providing entertainment.Congratulations to Mr Walenda for
accomplishing this feat. And while other may choose to see him as a hero, I see
him as just another entertainer plying his trade.
Hutterite, I'm not sure who the 'hoobs' are that you are talking
about, but the tornado chasers that I knew were following the storms in order to
learn more about them, and possibly save lives and property. they are not just
driving around the midwest hoping to see others lives being torn apart.
The definition of hero as it is used in the English language is much broader
than someone who saves lives or helps other people. A hero may be someone who
shows great strength, courage and ability. A hero may be someone who is admired
for their achievements. Many of the tweets quoted in the article are from
people who admire Wallenda for his achievement, which is remarkable. It is very
appropriate for them to think of Wallenda as a hero. You cannot define a word
more narrowly than it is commonly used and then chastise people when they use
the word outside of your narrow perspective.
I just read a great article written BY Nik Wellenda that was published in last
month's Guideposts - a (non-LDS) magazine that has stories about &
testimonies by good, God-loving people. Mr. Wallenda is a sincere Christian man
whose baby steps were taken on 'a wire.' He feels the pull to this
familial calling. Some people join the military because Grampa & Dad were
in the Army. Does that make them warmongers? No. Nik Wallenda's desire is
to honor his family's heartfelt 'purpose' - whether other people
respect or understand it or not. It's been handed down and nurtured - just
like Grampa's war stories. No, he's not a 'hero.' But
he's a man who was raised in a family that 99% of the world can't
possibly relate to. I'm glad Heavenly Father has protected him in his
desire to honor HIS genealogy & God's name the only way he knows how at
this point in his eternal progression.
Not supportive of this Jason Wright article (a first). This nothing more than
an argument of semantics. Recall years ago a discussion/lesson on the many
Inuit words for snow and ice given the preponderance of the stuff in their
world. Perhaps we need more vocabulary for the many types of the famous,
infamous, inspiring (to good and evil), role models, leaders and those who work
hard/dangerously in careers and shining moments.What I've found
about heroes is twofold. First, the distinction is in the mind of the beholder.
Example, our Founding Fathers were either patriots or terrorists (including to
those living here who were loyal to England); some think McVeigh to be a hero
and some feel that way about suicide bombers. A difference of opinion and
perspective, rather than right or wrong about applying the term. Likewise some
of the professions Jason indicates are populated by people doing their job,
which some don't find heroic.Second, heroes often and
universally don't consider themselves heroes.In the end it is
only labeling and, yes, semantics. What Wallenda did is what it was, with no
need to have others tell us it was heroic or not.
I agree Jason. Soldiers are heros. Our local police and firefighters are heros
to me. People who live what they believe are heros. Would you call Evel Knevil a
hero? No. He did extreme stunts.
Why all the hate for Nik Wallenda? He obviously does what he does for
entertainment value, so what is the difference between idolizing him versus a
professional athlete who also does his or her job for entertainment value? Nik
obviously trained very hard and achieved something that to most of us would be
impossible. What's more, he has not been shy about his faith. So again I
ask, what's wrong with looking up to a hard working, god fearing man who
has shown by example that if you set your sights high, you can achieve amazing
things? He may not be saving puppies from burning buildings, but that does not
mean that there is no value to be found in his achievements. Last time I
checked, Discovery Channel was not the only thing on TV. If you don't like
it, don't watch.
I don't think anybody here hates him, we just don't consider him a
hero in the classic sense of the word. Putting yourself in harms way for fun
isn't exactly Homeric. If he would have fallen, his children watching, we
would be criticizing him, and somebody somewhere would be saying it was
"Wallenda, a married father of three..." A 'Hero'
doesn't potentially make three kids orphans. It's one thing to have
no commitments or responsibilities and do something like this. It's quite
another to sacrifice your family's well-being in pursuit of glory. A hero lands a disabled plane in the Hudson River.A hero gives up
his spot in a life boat to save someone else.A hero runs into a burning
building to rescue people.A circus act looking for publicity walks a
tight rope over a 1500 foot canyon.
This article has no business being on Mormon Times and Jason has no business
judging it in the name of the Church. The article is certainly no standard by
which the Church should be judged.
The distinguished Mr. Webster gives six definitions for the word hero. He does
not pontificate on how each individual should internalize its meaning or
personal significance. Every opinion here is valid, hopefully. From the
thousands of tweeters to this author. Ain't democracy grand!Definitions:#1- "A man of distinguished courage or
ability..."#3- "The principal character in a story, play, film,
etc..."#5- "A hero sandwich..."Certainly the
Wallendas fit one of those definitions, despite the variety of perspectives or
personal value systems. I think our DN author could have shown a little more
deference and respect for this profession, while stating what most everyday folk
certainly feel about his choice for possible public suicide. I
happen to agree that I do not understand what motivates this profession. But
then neither can I fathom how my great-grands chose a polygamous lifestyle,
frought with sacrifice, risk and prison-time served. I do not agree one iota
with their choice, but I know those choices were heroic, however misguided from
my personal perspective. Because they took a great anti-social risk based on
their beliefs and allegiance.
I refused to watch this event. It seems to ultimately be an act of selfishness,
taking chances that were unnecessary, (without a safety harness) which might
have lead to his death. That would have left a wife without her husband and more
importantly, children without their father. For what? A few moments of adrenalin
rush and a name in the fame game book? I am glad that he lived, but I would not
have cried if he died. It would have been a stupid and needless death.