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Redefining Heroism for the 21st Century

Heroes are commonly portrayed as those who get the media’s attention – sports figures, pop artists, and movie stars.  Rarely do we hear about ordinary men and women who have done something meaningful in support of a greater cause or sacrificed on behalf of their fellow human beings.

HIP believes that true heroism is not something reserved for those rare individuals who  acomplish something extraordinary or who take impulsive risks, but rather is a mindset and set of habits possible for anyone to achieve. We seek to redefine heroism and make it more relevant for a 21st century world as no longer being the exclusive province of the physically brave, but also embodied by any individual with firmly held ethics and the courage to act on them. Perhaps the most important aspect of heroism is the ability to create positive change in challenging situations.

Understanding Heroism

Heroism is the active attempt to address injustice or create positive change in the world despite pressures to do otherwise. It may involve coping effectively in unclear or emergency situations, helping others in need, or may involve setting and achieving goals to promote the well-being of others. Habits of wise and effective acts of heroism can be learned, encouraged, modeled, and are achievable by anyone at any point in their lives.

The Heroic Imagination

Inspirational heroes like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Vaclav Havel, Daniel Ellsberg, and Irena Sendler harness the power of heroic imagination. The heroic imagination is the natural capacity we each possess to dream of a better tomorrow. At HIP, we teach individuals the skills and awareness they will need to begin to translate these ambitions into reality. We believe that each of us possesses the ability to grow and to create meaningful and lasting change; a mindset that encourages our willingness to act on behalf of others or in the defense fairness and equality.