It’s fun to lose yourself in your favorite superhero stories. The film industry banks on it. You can imagine what superpower you’d choose as yours and how you’d use it to save the world from supervillains. Movie and comic book heroes face danger and triumph over it.
In reality, many people face danger in their jobs every day. Jobs people think of as heroic usually involve high risk. Here are some of the jobs that involve everyday, real-world heroism. Sometimes, these professions even get the big screen treatment, even if it’s a rare day on the job that creates that much drama.
A recent survey by the Vantis Life Insurance Company queried 2,000 people to find out who they consider to be heroes. Turns out, Americans view people who do jobs that involve saving someone’s life, risking their own life, and standing up to other people as heroic. But serving as a role model, demonstrating good leadership, and putting extra time without extra pay are traits that people also view as heroic.
Heroic Jobs That Weren’t Listed
As you might expect, soldiers, firefighters, and police officers are high on the list of perceived heroes. So are doctors and nurses. But teachers, farmers, and stay-at-home parents also made the hero list. Here are a few more that could arguably be included:
Spending 10 hours a day and up to 60 hours in seven consecutive days is draining and difficult. Truckers fight through traffic, weather, and poor road conditions to bring you the goods you order online and the food you find in the supermarket.
Truckers also endure near-constant monitoring of their driving, including how much time their truck spends idling, and how many miles they cover in how much time. They spend weeks away from home, often sleeping in their truck’s cab. Let’s hear it for these heroes who bring us what we need, and maybe give them a wave of appreciation next time you pass a truck on the highway.
The airline industry took a huge hit during pandemic lockdowns, and pilots and flight attendants are still dealing daily with rude, unruly passengers. Pilots who help with firefighting during wildfires and with medical evacuations also take on high risk, while also confronting some weird myths about pilots that can detract from the appreciation they deserve.
Increasingly, police departments have recognized the value of having social workers accompany officers on calls that involve domestic violence, mental health crises, and addiction. Social workers can offer immediate forms of help and assistance. They also pursue available mental health and crisis intervention services to help people who have reached their limits by poverty, substance abuse, homelessness, or sexual assault.
These workers put themselves on the line with people who are close to losing control or already have. They help defuse volatile situations and get distraught people the help they need.
Deserving Recognition and Gratitude
Many jobs that people think of as heroic do involve risk, but sometimes, it’s a different type of risk than obvious threats to their own safety. Police officers, health care workers, truckers, social workers, and pilots all encounter situations that challenge their own psychological, as well as physical, safety. But they keep showing up, and we keep benefitting from their commitment. They deserve our appreciation.