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MoralHeroes.org is an ever-growing archive of inspirational men and women throughout our history that have sacrificed for the betterment of others physically, socially, politically, economically, or environmentally.
These acknowledged and unsung heroes have intentionally sacrificed their social standing and location, political or economic gains, or even given their own lives for others.
They are highlighted here to remind, encourage and inspire those of us who follow.
What makes someone a Moral Hero?
A Moral Hero is not a hero of accident or impulse (such as a firefighter in a burning building, or someone jumping in the way of a bus to protect another). A Moral Hero must have intentionally, and selflessly upheld a moral virtue, such as kindness, patience, justice, compassion, love, or peace, while knowing of the full risks and consequences of their actions. We have seen this in civil rights movements, democracy movements, peace movements and individual acts of kindness. Moral Heroes are not perfect humans, without blemish or errors. They may not have achieved their goal while alive, but they must have made a heroic effort to do so. They may not have spent their entire life as a Hero, or even been popular at all. However, if their single deed is great enough to inspire us to a higher standard of community, then they are a Moral Hero.
Why do we need heroes?
An ancient phrase says “Tell me who you admire and I’ll tell you who you are.” Heroes define what values mean and they show us those values in action.
However, a better question may be, “what happens when we live in a culture without heroes?”
Our modern culture has made a shift from heroes and role models to celebrities. Celebrities have what we want (hot dates, cool rides and loads of cash). The problem with celebrities is that they only attract our curiosity and attention, but they offer us little substance and in the end, let us down. By the end of their fifteen minutes of fame, we are just as eager to replace them with someone else, someone new.
A culture full of celebrities constantly redirects our attention, yet never lets us witness fundamental moral values being defined through action.
Heroes on the other hand, give us something substantial. Rather than spending their time seeking fame and fortune, they are actually living out values whether we are watching or not. A true hero isn’t directing attention to themselves, but to something greater. Celebrities may claim the world, but heroes are the ones who actually change the world.
So why do we need moral heroes? Because our world is in need of men and women who will stand in the gap, stand up for each other, and make the world a better place. We need to seek out and remember heroes, because in order to become moral heroes ourselves, we need to see those values defined and lived out by people who are just as human as ourselves.
Do you have a hero not found on our website?
Many Moral Heroes go unnoticed and others died without a record of their deeds. However, we want to hear about your moral heroes. Use the link on the right side to “Submit A Hero” and we will do our best to include them in our archive.