When is a hero a hero? This term my daughters project is all about ‘superheroes’.

The school’s suggested ideas such as creating your own superhero, drawing your own comic strip or interviewing real life heroes.

There would not doubt be a plethora of lycra clad do-gooders involved and talk of doctors and fire fighters. All very worthy (the real people at least) but I wanted something different.

In actual fact, I felt I owed it to her to find a strong, female role model to inspire her. But trying to convince a 6 year old to base her project on activists, pioneers or life savers was – for some reason – a difficult sell. Maybe it’s the innocence of childhood. Perhaps as an adult I know too much about life in general. Or maybe my expectations were just too high.

With her child sized, rose tinted specs on, she actually decided that she wanted to do her project on me. She said that I was a hero because I ran up mountains, raised money for charity and baked her amazing birthday cakes. As flattering as that felt I certainly didn’t think that was worthy. After all, I hadn’t saved anybody’s life or changed the world.

But she was adamant and so – ever so slightly embarrassed – I let her get on with. In the end, she put lots of effort into creating a wonderful poster with lots of photos, drawings and interesting little captions.


In my mind, there was nothing particularly special about those things. I enjoy them and to me they probably border more on selfish than selfless.

But it did make me think about the whole hero ‘thing’. I concluded that you don’t necessarily need to change the world. A hero is someone who gets involved and has a positive impact on the lives of others. To that end, and it might be a cliché, but there’s a hero in all of us.

I’m still not entirely comfortable about be paraded around the school. Still, it’s good for the ego and if she gets good marks it’ll all be worth it…


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