Myths and Heroes

Allow me to start with the definition of what is called a myth and what is called a hero. There is not one and a unique definition of the word myth but there are many. As a matter of fact, we have to distinguish between ancient mythology and today’s mythology. Ancient mythology consists of folklore stories that put in connection the world of Gods and the world of Men. So we hear about supernatural people and conflicts between the gods that fight over the earth; but nowadays mythology has modified.

Looking at America for instance is an excellent example. The USA do not eave an ancient mythology like Greece or Egypt, but they have created their own mythology through their comics. That is not the only difference; ancient mythology is oral transmitted on a very limited scale, whereas today’s mythology is transmitted through the media on a very wide scale. In addition, because of this widely spreading, we came to have a World’s wide mythology and not America’s mythology or Greek mythology like we used to have.

People from South Africa can easily relate to Superman or Spenserian. The word hero Is hard to define because it is more versified than the word myth; throughout the ages, Its meaning has changed many times while Its articulation never has. We call hero everyone who commits a heroic and extraordinary act. He Is a warrior who displays courage and self-sacrifice In the face of danger. Nowadays we use and misuse some words Like the word “hero”. It has been so used and misused that it has become more or less meaningless.

It used to be a great word, while today it is being used to speak about every soldier or civil . It has lost its meaning and it has lost its purpose; everyday heroes are servant refreshers, cops, first responders. They are Dads and Moms, soccer players and singers. Everybody can be called a hero and that will be the subject of my presentation. First we have to distinguish between those who had a heroic moment and those who had a heroic life. For example, the captain who landed his plane on the Hudson River had a heroic moment.

It made him the Michael Jordan of plane ditching. In this respect, he deserves the title of hero, but In a trice, he became forgotten. Thus, we have to differentiate between someone who commits a heroic act and someone who ivied his life as a Hero. That is why I will talk about Mahatma Gandhi, the person, the hero and the legend. The difference between the two examples is very distinctive. The first one is already forgotten, he has had his moment, he was called a hero but now no one remembers him, whereas we remember Gandhi 60 years after his death… Hush we can wonder, what does it take to be a hero, to be a legend? My presentation will fall into two parts, first I will present why we consider Gandhi as a hero, and then in a second part I will illustrate his heroism with the Salt March. We can consider Gandhi a hero for the following reasons: -Gandhi was aflame of love everything he did was an experiment in expanding the human being’s capacity to love. When he went to England the second time for the round table conference people fell for his modesty and his compassion for his people. He gave his mission the best shot and worked as hard as he can to achieve no matter the consequences. – He was the essential pioneer of non-violence. Love your enemies he said. Thus, he spent his life fighting hatred with love and peace, asking people see non-violence as a way to get one’s right and as a key organizing principle that anybody could use in almost any situation. Sandhog’s philosophy is divided into 2 parts: 1) non-violence fight (straight) 2) Individual and political freedom: Self-rule (swards).

The Salt march is the best example that illustrates Sandhog’s philosophy. It began on March 12, 1930, during 24 days; thousands followed Gandhi from his home in Mohammedan to the seacoast near the village of Danni. Now allow me to explain the context. Before 1930, The British imposed a salt tax, they held the monopoly of salt reduction and forced the Indians to buy salt from them with extravagant prices. Thus, Gandhi choose the 1882 British Salt Act as the first target for the Sahara.

As a matter of fact, the Salt March to Danni, and the beating by British police of hundreds of nonviolent protesters in Trashcans, received worldwide news coverage and demonstrated the effective use of civil disobedience as a technique for fighting social and political injustice. In the document, we can see that it is divided into 3 parts: First, Gandhi was emotional in order to dramatist the situation and make it easier for he people.

Then he turned rational and stubborn and told the people what to do and how to do it. In the end, he became spiritual. Each part demonstrates a part of Sandhog’s genius, first he appeals for the people’s sentiments and desire for independence, and then he appeals for their reason and rationality and finally he ends up his speech with spiritual references. The Salt March is a proof that non- violence can be a very effective weapon. It is a very decisive moment that lead to Indian’s independence.

To conclude, I believe that a hero is someone who lives his life fighting for a good cause, but he’s also every man and woman who fights everyday problems to insure that their children are fed and safe, every firefighter who risks his life to save other people that he doesn’t even know. Even though he is dead, Gandhi remains an icon of pacifism and an undeniable symbol of peaceful life, and true love serving freedom a proof that they are worth fighting for and that peace can be an efficient instrument. That is why we see other heroes like Martin Luther King Jar. Using these peaceful methods to fight segregation in the mid XX century.