Hero or Citizen?
In Christmas time we call for more good citizens
If you stop someone from stealing your neighbor’s bicycle, are you a hero? If you climb a television mast to talk down someone who would otherwise jump, does that make you a hero? In Estonia, it certainly does, according to the weekly television news magazine Pealtnägija. On last week’s show, they profiled some Estonian “heroes” who saved both bicycles and suicide victims.
While in Estonia this may make you a celebrated hero, in the rest of the world this makes you a good citizen. In our opinion, one shouldn’t get a medal for simply doing what is right. Medals are for heroes. And as a war veteran once said, “The heroes are the guys who didn’t come home from the war.” We don’t wish to take anything away from Pealtnägija for publicizing good citizens. But let them be just that: good citizens—it is counterproductive to call this heroism. One should have to do much more than prevent bicycle theft in order to be called a hero.