I remember when we used to have an assortment of words for people who did good things. If someone found a wallet and returned it to its owner we would call that person honest. If a kind person aided a motorist having car trouble we call that person helpful. If a shopper paid for another shopper’s groceries we would say that person was generous. Today the word “hero” would be used in all cases. It is so overused as to have nearly lost its meaning.
“Hero” is no longer reserved for a relatively few soldiers, police officers, or firefighters who have engaged in extraordinary acts of selfless courage. Its use is now broader. All veterans are considered heroes regardless of their accomplishments. All members of law enforcement are heroes just for wearing the uniform. Even people who don’t wear uniforms can be heroes for just being nice.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe in heroes. They don’t even have to wear uniforms, but they do have to do something more than ordinary good deeds. Otherwise, what will the word be for someone who sacrifices everything to save someone else? Super hero?