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ARTICLE REVIEW: “THE BANALITY OF HEROISM” BY ZENO FRANCO AND PHILIP ZIMBARDO

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heroism, nurse hero
While writing my book on nurse bullying, I spent a lot of time researching human behavior – in particular, why some people treat others horrifically. I read and wrote about the Stanford Prison experiment (which many of you may remember from Psychology class) that asked the question…what would happen if you put good people into evil situations? Would they become evil? The answer was without a doubt – yes. Although the experiment was schedule to last 2 weeks, they had to abruptly end after 6 days.

This experiment validated what other social researchers call the, “banality of evil” – that is, under certain conditions and social pressures, ordinary people can commit horrific acts. 
Don’t give up hope yet. Because the opposite is also true; and is the topic of the article, “The Banality of Heroism” by Zeno Franoc and Philop Zimbardo (who was one of the researchers in the Stanford Prison Experiment and did a TED Talk on this).
In this article (in the Harvard Business Review), the authors provide us with a glimmer of hope that heroism lies within all humans – that we are all potential heroes waiting for the moment to perform heroic deeds.
What is heroism? 
According to the authors, heroism is different than altruism, which emphasizes selfless acts that assist others. Rather, heroism involves a much deeper personal sacrifice. Heroism involves a commitment to a noble purpose and the willingness to accept the consequences of fighting for that purpose.
The authors then share numerous examples of heroism displayed by ordinary people.  They end with recommendations on how to nurture the hero is all of us:
·      Develop an awareness of things that don’t quite fit or don’t make sense.
·      Develop the personal hardiness to stand firm for your principles despite your fear of interpersonal conflict.
·      Remain aware of an extended time-horizon, not just the present moment (being able to “see the forest through the trees”).
·      Resist the urge to rationalize inaction (don’t just stand there…DO SOMETHING).
·      Transcend anticipating negative consequences associated with heroism.
…And finally, to inspire heroism in our young.
While reading this article, I saw so many applications to nursing…from fighting a physician to death to get what you need for your patient; standing up to the bully once and for all; and even demonstrating incredible compassion to the homeless, alcoholic drug user on his third admission this month…nurses have an opportunity to display heroic acts every day.
I’m asking you, just like the authors in this book are, to nurture your heroic imagination and to inspire others to do the same.
Hero by choice!
If you’d like a copy of this article, please message me by clicking here.

Thanks so much for reading. Take care and stay connected!
Renee

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