One of my pet peeves is how the word “hero” is overused. Tom Cruise is labeled a hero because he helps tow a woman’s car out of a snow bank or stops for an injured woman on the street and takes her to the hospital. That’s all very decent of him but it falls more under the label of Good Samaritan because he did not risk his life to do those things.
This past Monday, Chad Lindsey earned the hero title when he risked death to save a fellow man who had fallen onto the tracks of a New York subway. The other man had hit his head and was unconscious and bleeding. Lindsey jumped down, lifted him up and, with the help of other commuters, managed to get both the man and himself out “10 or 15 seconds” before the next train came. (Read more about it in the NY Times.)
As if this wasn’t incredible enough, Lindsey wanted no attention or accolades for his action. He simply caught another train and went on his way. In this age of reality TV where people want you to watch them fight about who takes out the trash (how about we take out all of them?), this man wanted to remain anonymous after doing something that’s truly dramatic (his identity was given to the media by a friend). And he’s an actor to boot! Who said actors are all attention whores?
The main reason I find this story captivating is because I’ve always believed that people should do the right thing simply because it’s right, not because of what they might get out of it. Too often, people expect something for their good deeds. I recently read a letter in an advice column from a woman who was upset because she had returned someone’s wallet and didn’t get much more than a “thank you.” Did she want a reward? A medal? A key to the city? If she’d known ahead of time that she wouldn’t be rewarded, would she have just left the wallet where she found it or, worse, kept it and the money inside? The advice columnist told her that she did the right thing and that knowledge should be enough.
And that’s exactly why I respect Lindsey for what he did. He could’ve totally pimped himself to the media since the attention might’ve gotten him a job but he chose not to. So I’ll do it for him (no, I don’t know him and nobody paid me to do this).
This is Lindsey’s headshot and demo reel. There are lots of superhero movies being made in Hollywood. Why not cast someone who’s got real-life experience?