When I was in San Francisco with Phil and Zeno we briefly talked about nobility as it relates to heroism. The idea was that heroism is courage with a noble purpose. We felt the word lent itself to the privileged olden days though and sort of discarded it.
I saw a post on Michael Wade’s fantastic Execupundit blog today that brought those memories back. He notes that nobility is old-fashioned and uncool – just like we did. Have a look at his list of what it is to be noble and then think about which of them apply to the heroes you know.
- A willingness to help those who are needy.
- Gentleness without weakness.
- Dedication to doing the right thing even if it hurts.
- A more than normal amount of courtesy and kindness.
- Never rushing to blame others.
- Intellectual curiosity.
- Impatience with injustice.
- A love of freedom and independence.
- Disdain for cheap and shabby behavior.
- Courage, both physical and moral.
- A pleasant nature.
- The ability to survive setbacks without becoming bitter.
- Confidence mixed with humility.
I think you’ll find a lot of those traits in the heroes you look up to. I think you’ll also find them in the heroes-in-waiting you know and perhaps in yourself if you’re practicing the heroic habit.