What makes a Hero
One of the key concepts for understanding man’s urge to heroism is the idea of narcissism. Freud believed that we are hopelessly absorbed with ourselves. The history of humanity says that man’s basic narcissism has not changed. We think, everyone is expendable, except ourselves. Freud thought narcissism is unconscious. Man creates his own worth. He wants to secure his self-esteem. His self-esteem is least disguised when he is a child. His natural narcissism can freely spell out his needs and wants.
A combination of narcissism and self-esteem develops a desire to stand out. One wants to be a hero. One wants to have the main role. He wants that he is recognized for his role. He prepares himself for the role. The urge to become a hero is natural. Each culture has a different hero image. The anthropologists call it cultural relativity. Heroism has different grades. A common man can be a hero. At the same time, everyone can’t be a hero, however much enthusiasm one may possess to become a hero, nor it is desirable for everyone to become a hero. The sense of heroism, however, is important. The rise of anti-heroism can be a disturbing phenomenon.
Heroism is deeply rooted in death. We admire those the most who have faced death with courage. The disappearance of fear of death makes one a hero. In the film Sholay, all the major characters could have died. But the silent hero died. Perhaps he was least fearful of death.