Recognizing Everyday Heroes

June 17, 2015
Recognizing Everyday Heroes
The word hero gets thrown around a lot these days. For some, a hero is a soldier fighting for his or her country. For others, a hero is an athlete at the top of his or her game, and for others still, a hero is an elderly family member who is the keeper of stories and a moral advisor for the younger generations. But then, if you ask the first child you come across who his or her hero is, the answer you’ll probably hear is, “Superman.”
 
Clearly, we all have our own personal definition of what a hero is. However, the term “hero” has been around for hundreds of years, and while it’s gone through a few changes since its inception, the basic characteristics of what makes a hero have remained the same. Read on for some background.

Heroic History

Derived from both the Latin and Greek words for demi-god, the term “hero” initially meant a person with unnatural strength and/or courage. In the epic poems of Homer (you surely remember The Odyssey and The Iliad from high school English class), the hero was the main character who exhibited this strength and bravery, plus had another important attribute: honor. After all, strength and determination are pointless if they are not honorable.
 
Heroes in other pieces of literature throughout the years have demonstrated characteristics like social responsibility, accountability to their community, and a persistent fear of disgrace and failure. The meaning of the term “hero” has evolved from these early definitions toward a connotation of helpfulness and kindness. Still it’s easy to see how our contemporary concept of a hero was formed many years ago.

Heroes All Around Us

Using the history of the heroic figure as a starting point, we can look around us today and find individuals who embody these same principles. Think of the heroes in your life. They’re altruistic, they put others before themselves, they stand up to injustices, and they do what is morally right, not simply what is socially acceptable. They also enthusiastically respect the dignity of others. The concept of bravery may come into play, but it often takes a back seat to a good heart and a strong moral character.
 
We often look at those who work in the emergency services professions as heroes, since they often put their own needs aside and dedicate themselves and their skills to keeping others safe. This is why we often celebrate these individuals with designated days of recognition, special events, and even medals of honor — even though they almost always do their jobs without the expectation of recognition or rewards.

Help From the Recognition Professionals

Who are the heroes in your workplace? Who are the selfless team members going above and beyond what’s expected to do outstanding work that benefits everyone? Like first responders, true workplace heroes work hard because it’s the right thing to do, not because they expected to be rewarded. Still, it’s always appropriate to recognize their achievements and offer them praise for truly outstanding service. If you’d like ideas on how to do this, enlist the help of Williams Recognition, one of the leading recognition program providers in Canada. Whether you’re looking for bravery awards for first responders who took a great risk or another way to commemorate great performance in the workplace, Williams Recognition can help. Give us a call today at 1-877-562-6501, or fill out the contact form on our website, and let’s talk about how you can recognize your heroes today.
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