GROWN UP: As an adult disposable income is directed from  comics to
GROWN UP: As an adult disposable income is directed from comics to "important" things. DavidCallan

Look beyond the limelight to find a true hero

HECK I grew up surrounded by them with some of the greatest heroes of the 20th century being my near constant companions for the first few decades of my life.

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In the early 1990s disposable income was directed away from my beloved comics to more "important" things like a marriage, house and children. "Important", not "grown up".

If you don't want to walk into a comic store to see it, just look at the massive rise in pop culture among all age groups as evidence enough to show that comics are not just the realm of children.

My eldest brother and I are well into our 40s and we are still slinging at the other for our respective heroes. He's in the camp of Superman (massively overpowered and no edge). I recognise Batman (smart, strong and so many edges).

These are of course make believe, much like many people around us being touted as heroes.

Performing a great act of generosity or achieving an unbelievable play on the sporting field are actions to be applauded and admired, but they are not heroic.

Doing a difficult job that most other people can't or won't do is not grounds for being called a hero.

Trust me on that one, for over 15 years I was a frontline paramedic, an occupation routinely given the title of hero.

There are paramedics and many other people who are genuine heroes, but not because of the job they have chosen to do.

Rather those few persons are heroes because of an individual action where they placed themselves in a position of immediate and potential mortal danger for the benefit of another person.

Not for a team or organisation, nor because it is what they are paid to do or will otherwise benefit from.

These heroes aren't taking calculated risks secure in the training and equipment they have been provided with.

They take the step without consideration for themselves.

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I'm not saying heroes should put themselves in mortal danger to achieve that title.

I have many heroes for whom the risk is something for the benefit of those they have devoted their life to.

Or they've assessed their actions and taken deliberate steps to turn away from something they've heavily invested into, knowing full well they will likely be made a pariah for.

I look at people like Britt Hermes and Kevin Folta and I consider them heroes.

Despite the constant threats and harassment, they have stood their ground and fought for the benefit of some of the most vulnerable people around the world and for the generations that will come after us.

There are great and small heroes all around us.