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I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.
As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.
A heroic person walks at his ease through and out of that custom or precedent or authority that suits him not.

Leaves of Grass
Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle
Heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh; that is to say, over fear: fear of poverty; of suffering, of calumny, of sickness, of isolation, and of death. There is no serious piety without heroism. Heroism is the dazzling and glorious concentration of courage
Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed
Aspire rather to be a hero than merely appear one
Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood - never
How many famous and high-spirited heroes have lived a day too long?
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."