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It is not always about the "big save", often time it is the little things we do for others that make the difference. Three traits heroes have in common are courage, commitment and compassion. Review the stories below and see if you can identify the "little things" these people do that make them heroes. Look for examples of courage, commitment and compassion.

After reading the poem "He Sits Down on the Floor of the School for the Retarded", consider the following questions: Was the author wrong to lie? Why or why not? Why was the author uncomfortable? Can you recall a similar situation when you felt uncomfortable? What did you do? How do the author's conclusions relate to being a hero? Is compassion an instinctive quality or one that can be developed and honed?

Read the short story "The Use of Force" How far would you go to help a stranger, especially one not too agreeable to being helped? How did the Doctor demonstrate courage, commitment and compassion?

Samantha Power tells a story of a complicated hero, Sergio Vieira de Mello. This UN diplomat walked a thin moral line, negotiating with the world's worst dictators to help their people survive crisis. It's a compelling story told with a fiery passion. How did Vieria de Mello demonstrate courage, commitment and compassion?

They've been called the "Saints of Somalia." Doctor Hawa Abdi and her daughter Deqo Mohamed discuss their medical clinic in Somalia, where -- in the face of civil war and open oppression of women -- they've built a hospital, a school and a community of peace. Hear their story. Why did they need courage, commitment and compassion?

What trials unite not only Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins but many of literature's most interesting heroes? And what do ordinary people have in common with these literary heroes? Matthew Winkler takes us step-by-step through the crucial events that make or break a hero. See it here. Can you identify examples of courage, commitment and compassion in these heroes?

How can an anti-hero teach us about the heroic--and sometimes, the unheroic--characteristics that shape a story’s protagonist? From jealousy to self-doubt, Tim Adams challenges us to consider how anti-heroes reflect the very mortal weaknesses that can be found within all of us. See it here.

Compare Mark's story from the video to the short poem "A Bed for the Night" by Bertolt Brecht. What message do they have in common? Are there examples of courage, commitment and compassion in the poem? Is the man on the corner a hero- even if he doesn't change the world?

A Bed for the Night

I hear that in New York
At the corner of 26th street and Broadway
A man stands every evening during the winter months
And gets beds for the homeless there
By appealing to passers-by.

It wont change the world
It wont improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of exploration
But a few men have a bed for the night
For a night the wind is kept from them
The snow meant for them falls on the roadway.

Don't put down the book on reading this, man.

A few people have a bed for the night
For the night the wind is kept from them
The snow that is meant for them falls on the roadway
But it won't change the world
It wont improve relations among men
It will not shorten the age of exploration.

Bertolt Brecht

What is a hero? Find a quote that best reflects the idea of a hero and tell us why you like it. A list of quote to help you get started can be found here.

Look through today's news and see if you can spot a hero. Take a moment to thank a hero. Find your own courage, commitment and compassion, and be a hero.

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." -John F Kennedy

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Discussion originally posted by Jordan Reeves
New York, NY, United States
Who is your hero, and why?

Apr 25
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Kaylee Montalbano • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero would have to be dad because he works two jobs, keeps a roof over my families head and food on our plates. It is those little subtle things that keep my world from crumbling and he deserves credit for all that he does for us.

Jun 21
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adam ayala • COMPLETED LESSON

my heroes are my parents because they both raised 4 kids at very young ages, and sometimes may struggle with 2 kids being in college, they always figure out how to make things work and are always there for me and other siblings.

Jun 21
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jesse goode • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero is my mother becuase when dad ran out it was just the two of us. When the **** hit the fan she kept her cool and continued to move forward and do what was best for us. She is the light of my life and will always be my hero.

Jun 22
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Justin Day • COMPLETED LESSON

My parents would have to be my heroes, they do not seem like it sometimes but they have always been there for my sister and I. They also are my hero's because they put me through the best school possible and always told my sister and I to never give up and to keep going no matter what and to achieve your goal in whatever field you choose to study.

Jun 23
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phararth york • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero would be one of my teacher at high school because she taught me to never give up and always try your best. She was always there when I needed help in my classes.

Jun 23
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Albert Gomez • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero would have to be my parents, we have had a lot of adversities to overcome but instead of giving up they manage to keep things stable at my house. They both work very hard, my dad has two jobs and still they both maintain time to spend with us. They are generous and very unselfish. I owe a lot to both them and they are my true heroes. They sacrifice so much just to give what they didn't have and that means the world to me.

Jun 24
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Edgar Munguia • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero would be my father. he came tothis country not knowing anything. Not knowing the languange, culture, and he was able to overcome any obstacle. He has became very successful and has never given up in any situation.

Jun 24
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Jamie Lozano • COMPLETED LESSON

My dad is my hero because he is a hard worker. He puts family above anything else. He loves unconditionally, puts others before himself and so much more. He is my hero now and always.

Jun 24
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Geovanni Romanos • COMPLETED LESSON

My little brother is my hero. He reminds me of me when I was little kid... when I see all those dreams, all that passion and crazy immature plans that he has, it just makes me want to protect him and his big dreams. He makes me want to be a better person, and he doesn't even realize it! This hero is not older, stronger or bigger then me, but thanks to all the things he does to inspire me, he is a hero in my list.

Jun 24
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Isaiah Turner • COMPLETED LESSON

I have two heros in my life and they would be my Mom and my Uncle.

My Mom is my hero because she raised two kids on her own no matter what was happening she made sure she provided for me and my sister there were times when she didnt have a job but yet kept a roof over our heads clothes on out backs and food on the table. and still made sure we had what other kids had growing up

My other hero is my uncle becuase he played the male role model in my life he tought me how to become a respecting young man and tought me life lessons, to this day he still helps and guides me in what i need to do as a young man

Jun 25
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Luis Aguilar • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero was my paternal grandfather (RIP). He went through a lot to get his family forward and successful. Not the family he created but his own family, parents, brothers and sisters. He was the oldest of 10. He worked at a very young age and worked to so his younger brothers and sisters would be able to go to school and become successful. All his brothers and sisters came out to be lawyers, teachers, and nurses. He then worked countless hours and jobs so his kids could be successful. They turned out to be teachers and lawyers as well. The best part was that he never asked for anything in return nor complained about doing it. He just did because it came out of him and his heart.

la15716

Jun 25
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Laura Martinez • COMPLETED LESSON

My parents are definitely my heroes. They are both the hardest working people i have ever met. When things get tough you can always count on them to have the "nothing is impossible" attitude. They have both taught me the importance of going the extra mile for yourself and others. It's amazing to know that after all they have done all they really ask for in return is for their kids to be successful in what we want to accomplish!

Jun 25
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Kevin Lawson • COMPLETED LESSON

My Dad is my hero. This is so because he is a great example of a leader who is caring, dedicated to his kids, and daily sacrificed his needs and dreams to support those he had for me and my siblings. My dad is the reason I am here today, he is one of my biggest motivation to succeed and be the best I can be, no matter how hard or how long I have to work at it to achieve my goals.

Jun 25
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Randall Sossaman • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero be my step father, he is a police officer he is not my hero or inspiration because he takes down bad guys or solves crime he is becuase he has taught me so much and always made sure i know to always try and do the right thing, to be fair and be a man of faith. There is something heroic about someone with those characteristics and values no matter what your career choice

Jun 25
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Scott Panici • COMPLETED LESSON

My hero would have to be my dad. He has done some great things for me and has gone out of his way to make my life as best as it could be. He has put up with so much and I sometimes forget that.

Jun 26
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Kurt Smythe • COMPLETED LESSON

My 2yr old daughter and my wife would be my heroes. They have kept me going threw some pretty rough times. Thinking of them kept me strong and kept me pushing to make it home alive threw deployments. Just the thought or sound of their voice gave me enough strength to stay focused to do what I needed without hesitation. They are my reassurance in life, the choices I make will reflect me as her father and as her husband. How I hold myself is a reflection of my family. My daughter has made me grow and realize how precious life is and how important life is. To me, anyone that can inspire and raise so much compassion and respect toward life itself, as much as they have in me... that's a true hero.

Jun 26
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cooper christy • COMPLETED LESSON

my mom is my hero because she has three jobs and she supports my brother and i. she is an amazing, selfless, forgiving, compassionate women who only wants to help.

Jun 27
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cooper christy • COMPLETED LESSON

my mom is my hero because she has three jobs and she supports my brother and i. she is an amazing, selfless, forgiving, compassionate women who only wants to help.

Jun 27
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jaedon staples • LESSON IN PROGRESS

My hero is Sir Winston Churchill, because I have strong English background and I look up to him as the leader who got England(at that time the U.K.) through the war.

Jul 20