No Heroes

21 Apr 2015 by gebhard, 1 Comment »

premer“No Heroes” was the sign on the wall of a company I interviewed at during a recent time of unemployment. It was a tech company, and they were pitching how everyone gives a contribution to the team effort and no one is a hero. They don’t even want them;  they cause too much trouble.

That seems like an odd thing to say out loud, much less pay art designers to put together. Maybe my understanding of what a hero is might be off?  Let’s check, the late 14th century definition  was something similar to the following:

“man of superhuman strength or physical courage,” “defender, protector,” “to watch over, protect” from Latin servare “to save, deliver, preserve, protect.”
Over the centuries, the meaning hasn’t changed much. This is the modern definition:

  1. a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
  2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.


That doesn’t like such a bad thing to have around? Perhaps this is part of why I never fit in so well in the world of cubicles, K-cups and team building exercises and why I enjoy my hobbies so much.  In the SCA, you and everyone else has an opportunity to be a hero.

This weekend, I watched history being made. Our King and Queen, Cadogan and Anne Marie, after compelling and inspirational words, selected the Premiers for the new peerage, Masters of Defence.  The three premiers are the stuff of legend.  Their names will be remembered, for good or bad, and everything they do scrutinized, analyzed and discussed, as they are the example of what it means to be a Master of Defence.

Maybe not being a hero is starting to sound better? Or Maybe the definition is a little too grandiose.  Great of acts of courage and ability are in the eyes of witnesses and receivers of such acts.

For example, a young man in my local group, who drove himself to the event, came over at the end of the day when I was sore, exhausted and feeling a little broken and helped carry our dayshade the 325 miles back to the car, or at least that’s how far it seemed at the time. He was a Hero to me.

The people who wash dishes after feast are heroes, every single one. If you doubt that…give it a try.  People who clean up the site, run troll, and do all those hundreds of other things that no one else wants to do are Heroes performing great acts of courage and ability.

There is another angle of Heroism I believe is important, a True Hero; The Hero of Heroes if you will, is someone who can not only embodies the ”qualities or has performed a heroic act “ but is someone who can encourage others to do the same.

The true hero brings out the heroism in others.  We need all the heroes we can get, and I believe everyone has that potential.

This is why I would never work for a company that boasts “No Heroes”. There are two ways to make a level playing field: by knocking everyone down, or by pulling them up. I think we all can agree only the later can make you a Hero.




Picture by: Master Konrade Mailander. From left to right, King Cadogan, Anton du Marais, Colin MacNish, Peter Grau von Bremen and  Queen Ann-Marie.

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One Comment

  1. Video of the Middle Kingdom naming the first members of the Order of Defence. Baron Anton du Marais, Herr Peter Grau von Bremen, and Lord Colin MacNish, who in the opinion of others, have heroic qualities and are regarded as models or ideals.

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