Humor is one of the most important qualities for any hero. If you want to show courage, laugh in the face of danger. If you want to show humility, laugh at yourself.
This is exactly the kind of book that I needed right now, a book that would encourage me to be stronger, to be moral and to choose happiness every day. I can be quick to anger, sensitive and sometimes it’s just really hard to choose happiness, to smile, to forgive, especially when the other person never apologized and never asked for me to forgive them. It’s been especially hard during this pandemic. It felt like before there were so many distractions, and if I wasn’t studying or working, then I was reading and so I rarely took the time to think about my actions and wonder if I am who I aim to be and if I do any good in this world.
Admiral William H. McRaven challenges us to be strong, to not give in or give up. He is spot on on a lot of things, especially when he discusses what drives us and motivates us. It’s true that in some cases, anger, resentment and other negative emotions can push us to do something, to act, and the things we accomplish with those emotions can sometimes be good, but these feelings will not do us any good in the long run. Change, action, has to come from a good place, a positive place, and we need to let ourselves be motivated by things like hope, faith, love, kindness. It’s a hard thing to do. I wholly believe that happiness is a choice, as is goodness, as is love and everything else. As the author said, sometimes it’s easier to let ourselves be led by our negative emotions and our impulses but if we follow his established Hero Code, we might just become stronger and lead a more meaningful life. We might become heroes ourselves.
One thing that I really like about this author is that he doesn’t distinguish between heroes. Yes, some people have qualities that allow for greater change, but it doesn’t mean that this person is better than any other or a stronger hero. There needs not be a hierarchy of heroes. Like the Avengers, there are many of them, and individually they can all make quite a lot of noise and turn things around, but they act together for a reason, and the people who do the administrative tasks, in the background, are heroes too. I used to think that to make an impact on this planet I needed to go to the best school, get the highest of degrees and the best of jobs and volunteer at the best of organizations, but maybe I need to rethink all of that and remove some of that pressure I put on myself. The one thing Admiral McRaven mentions that’s probably the hardest to accomplish is the idea of giving without expecting anything in return. Because, truth is, over time, not receiving anything can be frustrating and lead to resentment. But there’s also the chance that we might not receive exactly what we’ve given, but something else entirely. Above all, the truest of heroes acts out of a sense of duty.
Here are the themes he discusses which make The Hero Code:
Absolutely recommended, unless for some reason you cannot stand war stories.