“There are no heroes in the world today” by Erik Çiftja

December 7, 2023

In recent times, the statement “there are no heroes in the world today” does seem do have become a common belief; apart from developing countries like Albania, where is understandable that this folkloristic sayings be widely-spread, these voices do come from western countries where many citizens have become skeptical that many contemporary famous people have done many ethically and morally wrong actions and they are even perceived as being low-life citizens, let alone heroes. However, there are those who would disagree strongly with this statement, as they are able to find a hero in every individual. In my composition I am going to discuss both points of view and argue why I think heroes are among us, provided we are able to see the hero in them.

This bleak and negative view on human society and humanity has been around since antiquity. And this has had supporting reasons. In modern time, with the omnipresence of all forms of communication media, technology and information, there are hundreds of online posts and articles which try to shed light, subjectively or objectively, on many personalities in the world who could be called heroes. And in the current uneasy and turbulent sociopolitical climate with war in the borders of Europe and another brewing in the East, with social unrest, people have reasonable arguments to be skeptical and gradually move away from seeking contemporary hero, the person who inspires through his own actions and beliefs. People seem to be right that in this dark picture of the world to look for negative aspects, so that not to be easily disappointed.

However, I could argue that it is only in times like these, with such an uncertainty toward the future, that heroes can truly arise. Heroes, historically, have inspired either with their deeds or with their ability to sacrifice themselves for a higher cause. People in all the realm of human endeavor, Alexander the Great, Einstein, Da Vinci along with many others throughout human history have been called heroes by many because of their dedication to their single-minded objective as well as massive steps, should I say leaps, to achieve excellence in their field and in determination to reaching their goals. They have inspired people for centuries, I emphasize “They”, not the songs or stories about them. So, why not to think and open our eyes to see that there are many people working hard and achieving excellence in their respective fields, be it business, science, or everything else that is also well meant to impact aspects of humanity and social life. Won’t next generation think of them as heroes and be inspired by them?
There is also another type of hero, I think, very common in our day. I personally find many when I see walk the street of my ancient and still derelict town of Elbasan. Many people, waking up so early in the morning, with poor wages in an Albania that is on the eve of economic bankruptcy. With a smile of permanent hope, they do the most tiresome jobs to support their families, and I am sure, to achieve their dreams too. These unsung heroes are truly inspirational. This kind of hero you can find everywhere in developed countries, we just refuse to be inspired by them.

To conclude, although I understand why people refuse to believe that there will be any Wilhelm Tel, or Prometheus, or Martin Luter King junior in contemporary times, it is up to coming generations to define heroes among us, those who inspire us every day, but we refuse to acknowledge them.

Composition by Erik Çiftja
Class of 9