We don't have to look far these days to see heroic behaviour. Natural disasters bring out the heroes in our society. From the young boy who told rescuers to take his brother first...and died with his mother before they returned, to the pre school teacher who saved fourteen children from the tsunami, only to find no one came to collect them.
When we are writing, we judge our heroes are judged on the challenges they face. In my personal opinion, I think the smallest act of kindness in need has merit beyond measure. Improving the conditions of a single child can prove as momentous as saving a galaxy, if the story and characters are well written.
Today the world is reeling from the effects of floods, fire, earthquake, tsunami and cyclones. Each and every act of real heroism in the face of adversity outpasses the most dramatic act described in fiction. How can a fiction author compete with what Nature is doing? She uses natural disasters as raw material for creating situations for characters to find their inner strengths. Thank goodness so many people are finding that their true nature is heroic. Surviving the devastation takes heroism to face each day after the initial crisis is averted. Coping takes strength. Recovering will make a hero out of each survivor.