What Makes A Hero?

Taylor Harris
What Makes A Hero? Taylor is a writer from New York City. She likes to run and play basketball. She likes to read, and she has a dog named Lucy who likes to chase after squirrels.

“Regardless, he was influential, determined, and life-changing. Those are the characteristics that make a perfect hero.”

What makes a hero? A hero is someone who is influential, determined, and life-changing in a positive way for people. I think Christopher Columbus should be seen as a hero because he has all of those characteristics. Other people believe Christopher Columbus should not be seen as a hero but I think he should be thought of as one.

Columbus is influential because he found America. Many historians believe that he should not be considered a hero because he was supposed to find Asia but failed to do so. But, not finding Asia turned out to be a positive thing because he found America instead. People also say that Columbus was not the first person to find North America. Some people argue that the vikings were the first to find America. But, Christopher Columbus was the first person to build a settlement there and trade with the Americas, so he gets the credit. Actually, the Native Americans were the first people to settle there, but Columbus was the first person from another country to interact and trade with them. Even though the Native Americans were the first people to settle there, Columbus introduced the Americas to the rest of the world and influenced other explorers.

Many people also believe that he disturbed the lives of the Native Americans that were living there. Christopher Columbus and the Europeans brought diseases to the Americas that          the Natives didn’t have cures for, which caused many of the Natives to die. He also brought some Natives back to Europe to make them servants for the king and queen. Even though he did that and it was wrong, it does not take away from all the good things he accomplished.    

The second characteristic that a hero needs to have is determination. Christopher Columbus was determined because he wanted to find Asia no matter what happened. He wanted to find Asia because they had many silks and spices. He went to many different rulers until he found one to sponsor his voyage. First he asked the king of Portugal. The king said that he would not sponsor Columbus because he didn’t think it was possible for him to make it to Asia from there. But Columbus did not give up. He then went to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, the king and queen of Spain. They said that they would help pay for the voyage as long as Columbus shared the wealth, and then Columbus was on his way.

Another place where he showed determination was on the ship. When other people on the ship were convincing him to go back to Europe because there was no land in sight, he didn’t listen to them and he eventually found land. Some people think that Christopher Columbus should not be seen as a hero regardless of how hard he worked because he failed to find Asia. I think that being determined is one of the most important characteristics to have because no matter what you accomplish you should never give up.   

The final characteristic of a hero is being life-changing in a positive way for people.  Christopher Columbus has that characteristic because he was life-changing to the Europeans.  He brought crops to Europe such as corn and potatoes which were healthier crops that changed the diet of many Europeans. He brought back tomatoes, avocados, turkeys, and pineapples to show the queen and king. They were amazed at what he had found, so the country started trading with the Americas. He also changed the life of the people in America by bringing new items to them. He is put down for bringing diseases to the Americas that the Natives died from, but he also brought horses which changed people’s lives and had never been seen in the Americas before.

The things that Columbus did wrong should be acknowledged too because he did make mistakes, but they are not as important as the good things he did. Regardless, he was influential, determined, and life-changing. Those are the characteristics that make a perfect hero. Although Christopher Columbus was not perfect, he had all the characteristics of a hero, so he deserves to be called one.

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