- "The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by."
-- Felix Adler
- "Less than a foot made the difference between a hero and a bum."
-- Grover Alexander
- "How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"
-- Maya Angelou
- "You lived too long, we have supped full with heroes, they waste their deaths on us."
-- C. D. Andrews
- "Listen, my friend, there are two races of beings. The masses teeming and happy - common clay, if you like - eating, breeding, working, counting their pennies; people who just live; ordinary people; people you can't imagine dead. And then there are the others - the noble ones, the heroes. The ones you can quite well imagine lying shot, pale and tragic; one minute triumphant with a guard of honor, and the next being marched away between two gendarmes."
-- Jean Anouilh
- "True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."
-- Arthur Ashe
- "No hero is mortal till he dies."
-- W. H. Auden
- "I believe it is the nature of people to be heroes, given the chance."
-- James A. Autry
- "Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story."
-- John Barth
- "What is a society without a heroic dimension?"
-- Jean Baudrillard
- "The hero, in living her own life, in being true to herself; radiates a light by which others may see their own way. "
-- Laurence G. Boldt
- "My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them."
- "Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes."
-- Bertolt Brecht
- "Heroes are people who rise to the occasion and slip quietly away."
-- Tom Brokaw
- "And each man stands with his face in the light. Of his own drawn sword, ready to do what a hero can."
-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
- "The hero, therefore, is the man or woman who has been able to battle past his personal and local historical limitations. "
-- Joseph Campbell
- "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."
-- Joseph Campbell
- "If you look inside yourself, and you believe, you can be your own hero. "
-- Mariah Carey
- "The history of the world is but the biography of heroes. "
-- Thomas Carlyle
- "The cowards think of what they can lose, the heroes of what they can win."
-- J. M. Charlier
- "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
-- Winston Churchill
- "Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they've stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments."
-- Kevin Costner
- "There are new words now that excuse everybody. Give me the good old days of heroes and villains. the people you can bravo or hiss. There was a truth to them that all the slick credulity of today cannot touch."
-- Bette Davis
- "A champion is someone who gets up when he can't."
-- Jack Dempsey
- "A hero is simply someone who rises above his own human weaknesses, for an hour, a day, a year, to do something stirring."
-- Betty Deramus
- "True heroism is... not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost but the urge to serve others at whatever cost."
-- Ron Dicianni
- "The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example."
-- Benjamin Disraeli
- "Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes."
-- Benjamin Disraeli
- "I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom. "
-- Bob Dylan
- "The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else."
-- Umberto Eco
- "The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be common, nor the common heroic."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- "A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- "Bardot, Byron, Hitler, Hemingway, Monroe, Sade: we do not require our heroes to be subtle, just to be big. Then we can depend on someone to make them subtle."
-- D. J. Enright
- "I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced that they are about to change the world. I am more awed by...those who...struggle to make one small difference after another."
-- Ellen Goodman
- "Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one."
-- Baltasar Gracian
- "A hero cannot be a hero unless in a heroic world."
-- Nathaniel Hawthorne
- "A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around."
-- Edgar Watson Howe
- "Man's greatest actions are performed in minor struggles. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment and poverty are battlefields which have their heroes – obscure heroes who are at times greater than illustrious heroes. "
-- Victor Hugo
- "What with making their way and enjoying what they have won, heroes have no time to think. But the sons of heroes - ah, they have all the necessary leisure."
-- Aldous Huxley
- "There is no such man as a one-person hero. "
-- Daniel Inouye
- "The idol of today pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of tomorrow."
-- Washington Irving
- "Heroes are created by popular demand, sometimes out of the scantiest materials."
-- Gerald W. Johnson
- "Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."
-- Samuel Johnson
- "The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker."
-- Helen Keller
- "A hero is someone we can admire without apology."
-- Kitty Kelley
- "Heroism ... is endurance for one moment more."
-- George Kennan
- "It is surmounting difficulties that makes heroes. "
-- Louis Kossuth
- "What is a hero without love for mankind."
-- Doris Lessing
- "The good that Martin Luther King Jr. did remains undiminished ... He was great precisely because, like other heroes, he did not allow human weakness to deter him from doing great works."
-- Carl McClendon
- "Without heroes, we're all plain people and don't know how far we can go."
-- Bernard Malamud (The Natural)
- "You never have to wait long, or look far, to be reminded of how thin the line is between being a hero or a goat. "
-- Mickey Mantle
- "In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one."
-- H. L. Mencken
- "Calculation never made a hero."
-- John Henry Newman
- "I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel."
-- Florence Nightingale
- "A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer."
- "No heroine can create a hero through love of one, but she can give birth to one."
-- Jean Paul
- "Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves."
-- Carol Pearson (The Hero Within)
- "When the first Superman movie came out I was frequently asked "What is a hero?" …My answer was that a hero is someone who commits a courageous action without considering the consequences… Now my definition is completely different. I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."
-- Christopher Reeve
- "The hero is strangely akin to those who die young. "
-- Rainer Maria Rilke
- "Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes over night. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down."
-- Eleanor Roosevelt
- "How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?"
-- Jean Jacques Rousseau
- "One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being."
-- May Sarton
- "If you do it right 51 percent of the time you will end up a hero."
-- Alfred P. Sloan
- "To know that the odds are so high that only through the perishing of your life will the minions survive, that's love. That's heroism."
-- Sylvester Stallone
- "The world has no room for cowards. We must all be ready somehow to toil, to suffer, to die. And yours is not the less noble because no drum beats before you when you go out into your daily battlefields, and no crowds shout about your coming when you return from your daily victory or defeat."
-- Robert Louis Stevenson
- "The more characteristic American hero in the earlier day, and the more beloved type at all times, was not the hustler but the whittler."
-- Mark Sullivan
- "Who is a hero? He who turns his enemy into a friend."
-- The Talmud
- "If everybody was satisfied with himself, there would be no heroes."
-- Mark Twain
- "Villains are undone by what is worst in them, heroes by what is best. "
- "To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform."
-- Theodore H. White
- "The opportunities for heroism are limited in this kind of world: the most people can do is sometimes not to be as weak as they've been at other times."
-- Angus Wilson
- "It's true that heroes are inspiring, but mustn't they also do some rescuing if they are to be worthy of their name? Would Wonder Woman matter if she only sent commiserating telegrams to the distressed?"
-- Jeanette Winterson
"It takes an extraordinary person to face danger and maintain composure."
The Black Swan:
The Impact of the Highly Improbable
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