By Bryan Hyde

COMMENTARY -- It used to be that a hero was celebrated for showing great strength or in performing actions far beyond what was expected. 


The concept of heroism denoted an effort to exhibit real greatness in the battle of good against evil. True greatness is difficult to achieve and its rarity is what makes it worth celebrating and affirming.

The degradation of our language is rapidly turning the meaning of words like “hero” into something that no longer rewards virtue but instead promotes a type of mediocrity.

For instance, showing up for work is admirable but not necessarily heroic.

Columnist Charley Reese once wrote, “No nation can do great things once its people lose the ability to define greatness and to distinguish between the truly outstanding and the mediocre. That is just as important as knowing the difference between right and wrong.”

So what’s truly outstanding?

Silhouette of a medieval knight on horse carrying a flag on dramatic scene

Small business owners who overcome difficult economic conditions to keep their doors open against extraordinary odds. 

Or how about the family members of a young mother who is fighting cancer.

It includes those who serve the homeless, the hopeless, and the infirm in a volunteer capacity that neither pays them nor advances their careers.

Not every heroic act makes news headlines. Many are known only to the person who had to make the choice between doing the right thing rather than taking the path of least resistance.

* Hyde In Plain Sight is written by KDXU personality Bryan Hyde. Catch his daily HIPS vignette at 7:50-ish every weekday morning on KDXU and listen to The Bryan Hyde Show weekends at 7 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday nights.

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