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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #46 --- Heroism

Updated on March 18, 2011

Quotations on Heroism

Heroism has four fundamental elements.

The first is the giving up of a present good for the sake of a future better.

The second form of heroism is the sinking of self in the higher interests of others, which develops personality in men and women.

Standing by principle at the risk of our lives is the third qualification of heroism.

The last requisite of a hero is to live a life of service in a world of greed.

—Paul B. Kern, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, June 10, 1918.

We ought to choose carefully our heroes. No man ever rises above those whom he admires and seeks to emulate. To make a hero out of a person of unheroic stature will mean that we focus the sights of our minds and hearts upon moles, not mountains.

—Charles L. Allen, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 10, 1960.

The world will always applaud the one who performs an act of unusual merit. ... How lavishly did it acclaim the feats of [people] who sought to do the things considered impossible, yet it was possible to be done! ...

Are not our tasks, performed daily, equally as important to those who know us as those whose names adorn the periodicals day after day? True, we are NOT as heroic figures as many, but most of the real heroes are not sung in history and in the pages of glory, but remain plodding their very way into the great Unknown, to be rewarded by the love of those whom they love, and praised for their humanity. The erasing of a tear each day, of causing a smile to appear, of performing the tasks assigned to us, be they large or small, is a matter of achievement, and often of sacrifice. Yet we never hear of any of them being proclaimed as real heroes, and yet, in the hearts of those to whom they do their tasks, are the achievements as great and as imposing as heroic deeds which cause others to be emblazoned on the pages of history?

Let us perform our tasks as they should be performed, and the greater deeds will follow a naturally inclined process, just because, without knowing it, we are merely achieving our destiny--the only thing we have to do.

—L. Sumpter Augustin, The Bogalusa Enterprise and American, Bogalusa, La., Oct. 9, 1931.

Let grateful appreciation be rendered for that multitude of normal conditions and normal people that undoubtedly exists amongst us. Let us learn to appreciate and admire the lives and characters which do nothing to make "news," but which determine our happiness and comfort. Let us give thanks for the heroes and heroines of everyday life who in modesty and quiet, mostly not even knowing what power they exert, are determining the future of the family, society, the State, the world. Their names will not appear in the papers, but they will be written in the hearts and lives which they influence for good. They will not have monuments erected to them nor be put upon pedestals of fame, but they will be the great foundation upon which all that is good and true will be built. The solid granite massed in the earth, hidden away by the overlaying alluvium, will be there when the products of decay and disintegration have disappeared forever, and when the monuments which men have reared have crumbled to dust. In like manner the great unseen good that is all around us, working normally, systematically, while unheralded, is the enduring basis of all that is great and good and solid in the world. It makes neither news nor poise, but it makes the sublimest part of life. It should not be forgotten or unappreciated.

—George Summey, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Nov. 29, 1907.

Real greatness is always simple. The secret of hero worship is not that we look upon our heroes as something apart and different from ourselves, but that we see in them the fulfillment of our dreams; we see them doing what we have failed to do so clumsily and have failed.

—Clarence T. Brown, Salt Lake Herald, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 5, 1900.

True heroism is that which has as its object the fighting of the battles of the poor and helpless, inspiring the discouraged and hopeless and lifting burdens from the shoulders of those struggling against the ills of life and the impositions of the cruel and tyrannical.

—DeWitt McMurray, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 22, 1923.

A hero is one who has usually been comparatively inconspicuous until some great crisis calls for courage and devotion, when he comes forward and "delivers the goods" and saves the situation. A crisis is not a state in which we can live but is a point or time where we either move forward or go backwards. It indicates that there is no choice in the matter, but conditions force us to face the crisis.

—A.J. Smith, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 23, 1919.

If you ask me what are the most precious treasures that have been left us as a nation, I would tell you that they are our sentiments, our heroes, and our songs. To worship the heroic is to become a hero. When we remember that the great man is not one isolated and far removed from his fellows, but that he it is who has crystallized in his life and character the highest, truest and noblest characteristics of his people to reverence our heroes is to perpetuate the truest and noblest of our civilization. No people is great who has not great heroes and great ideals, as no act is great without a high motive that prompted it. We fall below, but we never rise above our. ideals, as no stream rises higher than its source.

—Ebb T. Williams, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Feb. 25, 1901.

Heroism is endurance for one moment more.

—W.T. Grenfell, Amboy News, Amboy, Ill., May 12, 1911.

There are no heroes' homes on easy street.

—George H. Brimhall, The White and Blue, Provo, Utah, Oct. 4, 1909.

Fear to do right makes cowards; fear to do wrong makes heroes.

—Duncan Clark, Louisville Herald, Louisville, Ky., July 13, 1907.

Heroes are born of ability on the one hand and occasion on the other. Ability is a development resulting from careful training and when the training is lacking no matter what the occasion the hero does not function.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Dec. 6, 1925.

Be firm but not obstinate. Obstinacy is a manifestation of egotism, firmness of heroism.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Post-Dispatch, Houston, Texas, May 19, 1930.

To be afraid to be a coward, and to do what one knows is right, despite an overwhelming temptation to turn traitor to conscience, is perhaps the highest form of heroism.

Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., May 26, 1920.

Opportunity has made more heroes than courage.

—Bert Moses, Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello, Idaho, March 20, 1924.

Man is never bigger than his heroes and his dreams.

—James DeForest Murch, Christian Standard, Cincinnati, Ohio, Sept. 13, 1941.

The test of a hero is not what he can do by himself, but what he can inspire other men to do, what he and they can do together.

—Earl Riney, Church Management, Cleveland, Ohio, November 1947.

The hero is not–

A hero because he tries to act like one.

Apt to increase his prestige by pretending.

A hero because of any accident; it is part of his nature.

Made a hero by an easy life.

A hero because he played a safe and waiting game.

A man who hesitates in the face of an uncomfortable duty.

A hero because it promises to be profitable.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., April 14, 1934.

It is one proof of heroism when one will face the facts of his own weakness.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 6, 1935.

We never recognize the greatness of heroes unless there is something heroic in ourselves.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 18, 1935.

No way has been found to make heroes out of men with no courage.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 12, 1937.

When you add serenity to conviction you have the true hero.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 6, 1937.

About the shortest and swiftest trip on this earth is from hero to zero.

—Nat Campbell, El Paso Times, El Paso, Texas, Oct. 7, 1959.

A dead hero never dies; a living coward never lives.

Lawrence Democrat-Union, Lawrenceburg, Tenn., April 18, 1930.

Out of heroism comes faith in the worth of heroism. Believe in yourself and your own ultimate triumph.

Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello, Idaho, March 27, 1921.


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