In society, people possess different behaviours and characteristics. There are people in society that are admired for their behaviour and courage, or the particular qualities and skills they possess.
For instance, in our school, there was a robbery where 40 students had their shoes stolen. One day, a student planned to expose the robbers. And when that student succeeded, all stolen shoes were returned to their owners. That was appreciated and considered heroic.
During the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, there were some Hutus who tried to protect Tutsis, at whatever cost, because they were brave and noble. We still recognise them, and the qualities that made them heroes.
Someone can express their heroism by being courageous and doing something that will have a positive effect, even if they face trouble in the end.
For instance, at my school, my class got into trouble and the teacher gave us a punishment; he said that if it was not done, we would suffer. Unfortunately, the class refused to do as they were told, and one student decided to endure the punishment we were given as a class, alone! He did not consider how tiresome the punishment would be. He, however, struggled for the rest of us and in him, we saw a hero.
The empathy and concern someone has can make them a hero. Another good example is the story of a military crew on a course of setting bombs and unfortunately, one of them set it wrong and it was about to explode and kill them all. Then one brave, great and strong hearted member, fell over the bomb and died to save the rest.
The heroism of a person is shown by the fortitude one has. Heroism resides in us all. It is from a person’s principles and the way we express ourselves in society. No one says ‘I am a hero’. Instead, we say ‘he/she is a hero because of their heroic deeds’.
Dusenge is an aspiring writer and student at Nyagatare High School
The “Aspiring Journalists” initiative is a partnership between UNICEF and The New Times, encouraging young writers to develop and demonstrate their skills while spotlighting topics which are important to young people across Rwanda.