Think About It: (Heroically) Just Doing The Job - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

September 6, 2012

Think About It: (Heroically) Just Doing The Job

There was a great story early last week about Maui police officers helping residents escape a home fire in Kahului. The alert actions of Officer Slonim and his compatriots who arrived shortly after Slonim first witnessed the smoke in the early morning hours of Monday, August 27th, saved lives. One of the great moments of this story, beyond the obvious saving of lives, is what rookie officer Slonim told the media, and I quote, "I was just doing my job. Nothing extraordinary, just my job. I just did what I had to do with my partners."

Too often we quickly label people "heroes" for doing things that we find extraordinary, while the people who perform these seemingly heroic tasks deflect the credit and acknowledge that they knew the job was dangerous when they took it. Astronauts are not heroes, they are highly-skilled, adventuresome people doing really meticulous and dangerous work. Police officers and fire fighters have very tough jobs, by definition, and from time to time they do incredible things in the line of duty. But ask any of them if they are heroes, and their understanding of the term would indicate that no, they are not heroes, they're just well-trained working men and women going about their jobs.

The dictionary definition of hero includes showing great courage, achievement, ability, or strength. But when your job definition also includes those traits, along with humility, you are satisfied by knowing that you do what you need to do to get the job done. So hats off to Maui police officers Slonim, Honda, and Takayama for their brave actions last week. They may be role models and epitomize the best of their profession,  but we won't call them heroes. Think about it… 

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