28 May, 2021


‘A hero is someone who wants to live in a better world and does something about it.’  This is the starting point for Ben Brooks in his children’s book ‘Not All Heroes Wear Capes.’ (Wren and Rook, 2020). In encouraging young people to find and develop their skills, passions, talents and beliefs so that these become ‘superpowers’ which they use to help others, Brooks explores ten things we can learn from ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Every one of us can be a hero just as much as the superheroes we know from books, comics and movies or the contemporary media spotlight.

  • Dream big! Often we have to go looking for dreams and when we find them they can sometimes feel too big to be achievable or so small they feel unimportant. A hero is someone who finds a way of pushing forward through the doubt and making their dreams a superpower.
  • Be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else! We all have different skills and interests – it is important to pursue the things you enjoy, persist and practise and be the best you can be at these things. It’s your differences that make you exciting and mean that you make a difference. There’s a place for every talent and passion.
  • The purpose of life is to discover your gift – the meaning of life is to give your gift away. There will always be someone who needs your help. In fact, there will be lots of people who need your help and some of them might be standing next to you right now, while others are oceans away. It takes a hero to realise when someone needs your help and to figure out the best way of giving it to them.
  • No act of kindness is too small and the more we share the more we have. Heroes are not bystanders; rather than hold back and wait for others to help, they step in and offer their help. In doing so, no matter how small the acts of kindness, this can also encourage others to do similar things.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others – be yourself, everyone else is already taken. Everybody is an ordinary person, whether they are known for doing something incredible or not. One of the most useful things we can do is start each morning by listing three things we’re grateful for (think Resilience Project!). This immediately sets us up for a day where we’re aware of the things we have, enjoy and care about as well as making us less inclined to worry about what somebody else has or does.
  • Discover everything you can. Learning is about so much more than making sure a few facts stay stuck in your head. It’s about understanding the big, strange world around us. If a hero is going to change the world for the better, they’ll have to understand it first. A hero has to know either the people they’re going to help, the situation they’re trying to change or the causes they want to fight for. A hero has to have what might be one of the greatest superpowers – knowledge. And, the more we know, the more we are capable of!
  • Share what you know. One way you can be a hero is by helping people, another way is by showing people how they can help themselves. Try passing on one piece of knowledge you have to somebody else today. We should share knowledge to help and inspire others.
  • Use what you have. We all have natural strengths, but in some situations, a strength can be a weakness. If we judge others by the things they aren’t able to do well, they will feel like failures. How can you use your strengths to help others, and in what situations can your weaknesses actually become strengths for you?
  • Stand up for what you believe in. When you see something that you think is wrong or unfair, you could choose to say nothing. Or you could choose to stand up for that belief, to explain why you think it’s wrong, and to try and change things. Heroes line their beliefs up with their actions.
  • If it doesn’t exist, make it yourself. Looking at the world and seeing how imperfect or harmful things can be turned into something beautiful is no easy task. Heroes seek to change things.

Do you want to live in a better world?

Can you make a difference?

Are you ready to find your power and do something extraordinary?

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


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