Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.
—Alphonse de Lamartine (1790–1869) French Poet, Politician, Historian
Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may not be going to prove one’s self a fool; the truest heroism is, to resist the doubt; and the profoundest wisdom, to know when it ought to be resisted, and when to be obeyed.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–64) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
To have no heroes is to have no aspiration, to live on the momentum of the past, to be thrown back upon routine, sensuality, and the narrow self.
—Charles Cooley (1864–1929) American Sociologist
The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. An immense difference.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist, Painter
The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper.
—Aristotle (384BCE–322BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scholar
We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas.
—Noam Chomsky (b.1928) American Linguist, Social Critic
The main thing about being a hero is to know when to die.
—Will Rogers (1879–1935) American Actor, Comic, Columnist, Radio Personality
One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.
—May Sarton (1912–95) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Novelist
A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
What is a hero without love for mankind.
—Doris Lessing (1919–2013) British Novelist, Poet
True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
—Arthur Ashe (1943–93) American Tennis Player
I do not like heroes; they make too much noise in the world. The more radiant their glory, the more odious they are.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
One murder makes a villain. Millions a hero.
—Beilby Porteus (1731–1809) English Anglican Reformer, Abolitionist
Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes over night. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
If you do it right 51 percent of the time you will end up a hero.
—Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. (1875–1966) American Businessman, Philanthropist
It’s true that heroes are inspiring, but mustn’t they also do some rescuing if they are to be worthy of their name? Would Wonder Woman matter if she only sent commiserating telegrams to the distressed?
—Jeanette Winterson (b.1959) English Novelist, Journalist
I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with their freedom.
—Bob Dylan (b.1941) American Singer, Songwriter, Musician