By: Evan P.
Who is My Hero?
What Makes a Hero?
When we hear the word “hero” we tend to think of well known or historical figures, trail blazers, or moguls. Rather than have this close minded definition, I encourage you to think of a hero as someone who selflessly puts others first, someone who worries not about the benefit of themselves but rather the benefit of others, someone who strives to make the world a better place. That is what a hero truly is.
A hero is someone who helps build a house for the victims of a devastating hurricane. Imagine the hardships that family just be going through, everything they had, destroyed. Now consider someone coming to help rebuild their lives. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment to give yourself up to a project like this. Someone who doesn't need pay, someone who just wants to help make someone else’s life better. A person like this is truly a hero because they understand that they won't necessarily benefit from what they're doing. Yet they still do it because they know that their help, in turn, will help others.One who us able to acheve this level of selflessness is most definetly a hero.
A hero is someone who is willing to help those less fortunate. When Thomas, a resident in vascular surgery, heard of the earthquakes in Haiti, he knew he needed to help. So be decided to sign up with Red Cross to help Haitians in need. He distributed vaccines, medical supplies, food and water, all while risking disease, an aftershock and other injuries. He did this not for recognition, or for money, he did it because it was the right thing to do. It gave Thomas happiness to help out others in need. This this a genuine example of how being a hero means helping those less fortunate.As one can conclude, both a humble contractor and a sophisticated surgeon can be considered a hero. Anyone who is able to put those less fortunate in front of themselves for the benefit of those people, can and should be considered a true hero. We all strive to be heros, thinking that it may be some sort of impossible task, but in reality many may be hero without even knowing it. A local fireman or policeman, or a student volunteering at a canned food drive. So ask yourself, what makes you a hero? How do you help others? What can you do to improve the lives of the people around you? Remember, your story doesn't have to be written in a history book for you to be a hero, it has to be written in the hearts of those that you have touched.
A hero is someone who selflessly puts others first, someone who worries not about the benefit of themselves, but rather for the benefit of others. A hero is someone of strives to inspire, someone who strives to make the world a better place. Elizabeth Blackwell is this hero. Not only has she helped countless people medically, but more importantly she has overcome and broken through immense social, gender, and academic norms, all while inspiring a generation of young woman to follow their dreams. Blackwell certainly classifies as a hero through her selflessness and courage.
Blackwell is a hero because she inspired countless young woman and broke through social norms. Ever since Blackwell was young she had a feeling that women weren’t being treated as fairly. Throughout her life she continued to be a female activist, but one of her biggest accomplishments was being the first woman in the United States to earn a medical degree. This is an amazing accomplishment considering the time in which she lived in. “Blackwell's decision to pursue a medical degree was influenced by many factors. It was partly motivated by financial need, but the desire to avoid marriage, as well as a strong belief in the struggle for women's rights and education, also played into the decisions." (Notable Women Scientists). Even after earning her degree many women still faced occupational and university related challenges. Author Michelle D. Bonner illustrates this perfectly, "In 1847, Elizabeth Blackwell was admitted to Geneva Medical School in New York but those who attempted to follow her were informed that their "admission was an experiment, not intended as a precedent" (qtd. in 6). The Canadian Journal of History, specifically Bonner brings up another interesting point. In England there were small medical schools catered to women, but they were considered inferior to the male medical universities. Even those who did find themselves able to graduate were faced with even more challenges, the book Science and it’s Times, by Neil Schlager exposes us to the unfairness these women faced, "Even after Blackwell had broken one barrier to opening the medical profession, women who graduated from medical schools found themselves facing additional obstacles, including exclusion from hospital training and practice." These barriers weren’t enough to stop woman from receiving an education from an orthodox university. Many became inspired by the strength and courage Blackwell showed in earning her degree. This prompted many more women to pursue a medical degree. In 1870 there were about 500 women pursuing medical degrees, by 1900 there were 7,000. After researching Elizabeth Blackwell I can easily make a conclusion, she is most definitely a hero. She reshaped what was considered acceptable for women to do, she broke through social norms, and she lead women to pursue higher educations.
Elizabeth Blackwell connects to my hero through her selflessness and inspiration. My hero Dr. Patricia DePoli (my mother) has selflessly helped those less fortunate in places such as Africa and South America. Elizabeth Blackwell has done the same, "Since few patients were willing to see a woman doctor, she established a free infirmary for poor women and children. This proved so successful that Blackwell obtained a state charter for a small hospital." (Notable Women Scientists). This shows that Blackwell also selflessly helped people as well, not for her benefit, but for the benefit of those in need. My hero also inspired people to pursue medicine, a young woman who had received care from my mother reached out to her after many years, saying she has also decided to become a doctor. Blackwell served as an inspiration for thousands of women, encouraging them to pursue higher education. I can easily come to the conclusion that both Patricia DePoli and Elizabeth Blackwell are heros in their own right. They have both inspired individuals and have repeatedly helped countless people.If I could ask Elizabeth Blackwell one thing, it would be, where did you find the courage and determination to continue to pursue a medical degree, even when you faced so much opposition? Blackwell has taught me many valuable lessons. The most valuable, in my opinion is to never give up on your dream. Blackwell wanted to be a doctor. Every step of the way she faced doubters, or people that wanted to see her fail. No matter what we all face some sort of opposition against us. This is why her message is so important, no matter what, we can not allow others to manipulate, or stop us from following our dreams. My personal hero has also taught me a very valuable lesson, never forget about those less fortunate. I am extraordinarily lucky to grow up in a place with so many resources, a place where I will always have what I need. I know that many people are not this fortunate and that they face problems I can not even fathom. This is why it is crucial to never forget these people, and help them whenever, however we can.