I heard an author on TV talking about his book I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined). In the book the author examines the modern interpretation of villainy. One of the discoveries he said he made was that villains know the most and care the least. I thought that sounded like a clever definition until I started thinking about it. I haven’t read his book, I’ve only heard an interview with the author. Given that, I would like to modify his definition. I think villains know the most and care the least about everyone else. Their wants and desires are uppermost, so in effect, they care the most about themselves. What they want supersedes what everyone else wants. Heroes, on the other hand, usually put other people’s needs ahead of their own. They let go of their wants and desires for the better good. They are willing to sacrifice their dream and goal in order to help someone else. So a possible definition for a hero would be someone who, once they know everything, is willing to sacrifice their desires for the good of someone else or for the good of the whole. A simple example would be Lightning McQueen in the animated movie Cars. He sacrificed his desire to be the youngest car to win the Piston Cup in order to help the retiring champ finish the race so he wouldn’t end up forgotten and bitter like Doc Hudson.

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