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The Banality of Heroism

We often like to say that there are acts of every day heroism that define us, whether it is giving haircuts to the homeless, offering a ride to someone in need, or sitting with a person in crisis. Acts of kindness like this are often extolled. Nonetheless, there are still extraordinary examples of human courage that deserve extraordinary recognition.

On the Monday after Christmas, a man went on a rampage in Colorado, shooting and killing four people. However, before he could take any more lives, a Lakewood police officer confronted him. Despite being shot herself, the officer returned fire and managed to put an end to the killer’s spree of horror. [1]

Although it is quoted to the point of banality, this officer’s heroic actions exemplify the verse in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

It does not matter whether the officer is, herself, a Christian. The courage and bravery that she demonstrated ought to be commended. Remember, Jesus said that gentiles have an intuitive understanding of what is morally good. As Luke 11:12-13 says, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?”

This serves as a reminder that there are times when we are called to be brave beyond what our daily lives can comprehend.

Far from a superhuman feat, these acts of heroism may be outside the ordinary, but the people who perform them are just like the rest of us. One common misconception of “heroic” individuals is that heroism only occurs when one combines, “individual skill, willingness to sacrifice, and stoicism in the face of physical and emotional hardship.” [2]

But that is not the whole story.

As one article on the medical profession elaborates, each person’s individual skills are cultivated through the support structure of a community, choosing to be self-sacrificial is not an easy decision, and heroes are not emotion-less stoics who have no feelings. [2] Many of these heroes are normal people.

If you ever need a reminder of how commonplace these acts of heroism can be, just take a look at the “Heroes” headlines on the Good News Network. Stories like “Hero Jumps Into Maryland Bay to Save Toddler’s Life After Crash Flings Her Car Seat Into the Water” and “70-Year-Old Veteran Battling Cancer Hailed as an ‘Angel’ After He Charged into Burning Home to Save Neighbors” should warm our hearts. They should also strengthen our conviction.

Most of us lead boring day-to-day lives that bear little resemblance to the superhero movies that blow out the box office. Still, we should always be prepared for those extraordinary moments in which we may be called on to perform the supreme demonstration of love. [3]

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


[1] Colleen Flynn, “Lakewood officer’s ‘heroic’ actions saved lives,” KDVR (December 28, 2021),

[2] David Nash, “Frontline Health Workers: 'Heroes' or Casualties of a Broken System?” MedPage Today (December 27, 2021),

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