A Tribute To My Hero

Ben A.

Who is my hero?

Bradley Dean Akason was born in Fargo, North Dakota on January 2, 1955. Him and his two younger brothers grew up in Minnesota playing many sports at a young age. His favorite of these sports was basketball. Since his father was a basketball coach, he learned the power of being a leader and a hard-worker early on. These lessons stayed with him throughout high school and college. Brad Akason went to St. Cloud Apollo high school and played many sports there including: basketball, baseball, football, and golf. At St. Cloud State University Brad played basketball for three years. Today, Brad is an investment banker and a father of four.

What defines a hero?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hero as a person who is greatly admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities. When someone says hero, the main image that probably comes to mind is Superman swooping in to defeat an evil villain and save a city of people. In reality, a hero is the everyday, coach, teacher, or parent. To me, a hero is someone who is looked up to for their actions and/or someone who makes a positive impact on another person’s life.

A hero is a teacher taking extra time to help a student. Imagine a new teacher, probably taking late night grad-school classes, spending extra time with a struggling student to help them learn. Consider the sacrifices this teacher needs to make, family time, personal enjoyment, and relaxation are all things a teacher may lose time to do by meeting with a student. Would this generosity and kindness inspire others to do the same? By helping a certain student, this teacher is instilling a belief in the student that someone will always be there for him/her. Therefore, when this student grows up he will most likely also be inspired to deliver the same kindness and generosity that his/her teacher once showed him to another struggling person. This cycle will obviously continue, which shows that the teacher is a hero because he/she has made a positive impact on someone’s life. Positive impacts like these will often lead to new heroes in each new generation.

A hero is a father whose actions make his son want to do the same thing in life. My dad grew up in Minnesota, and started playing many sports at a young age. His favorite quickly became basketball. A big reason for basketball becoming my dad’s favorite sport was probably the fact that his dad (my grandpa) was a basketball coach. Throughout high school, my dad continued to play basketball, baseball, and football. When college came around, he chose basketball and went to play at St. Cloud State University. Although he only played there 3 out of 4 years, the fact that he played in college is still very inspiring to me. To this day, most of my fundamental basketball skills and a big portion of my basketball IQ have come from my dad teaching me. From this, it is obvious to see that my dad’s actions have inspired me to do what he did, play basketball. Furthermore, this makes him a hero because I look up to him for his actions.

Some people might say a hero is strictly this or strictly that. Others might say a hero can only be people you have never met. All of these definitions constrict heroes to being a few different things. In reality, a hero can be whoever you want it to be, known to you or not known to you, fictional or nonfictional, younger or older, a hero is anyone who is looked up to for their actions or someone who makes a positive impact on another’s life. Most commonly, though, the heroes that really matter are the ones right next to you.

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