Moral Courage, Heroism and Heroic Rescue | Psychology Today
There is now developing interest in psychology in heroism in general. Heroism to me means a person acting to protect others or enhance the welfare of other individuals or society in significant ways, when this involves substantial danger to the actor. Heroism can be a single act: jumping on train tracks to pull a person out of the way of a speedily oncoming train. Or it can be persistent action, such as a rescuer hiding people for a long time, or someone working to oppose the policies of a brutal, dictatorial system. Depending on its nature, heroism requires physical courage, or both moral and physical courage. Moral courage means acting on one's values in the face of potential or actual opposition and negative consequences. But people can and do hold values they regard as moral that give rise to immoral goals and harmful and destructive acts.