Notebook: Real Hero

Hi, everyone. In a nation hungry for heroes, "hero" is a word we tend to use so frequently the label has almost lost its meaning. But maybe we're hard-wired for heroism.

Imagine this. You're in a crowded subway station when a stranger suffers a seizure and falls to the tracks - just as a train roars in. Do you stand frozen in horror? Or do you risk your life to save him? In a fraction of a second, a construction worker named Wesley Autrey made a decision to do the latter. He dived down on top of the man - knowing the train couldn't stop. Five cars rolled over them as they squeezed into a 20-inch deep trench between the tracks. They both survived without a scratch.

Mr. Autrey is a real hero. You can credit his biological wiring - his para-sympathetic nervous system kicked in. But perhaps it was less rational than that. Maybe there's something in each of us that can give us the burst of courage to transform us from by-stander to super hero. Just like Mr. Autrey.

That's a page from my notebook.
  • Katie Couric

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