Why the world needs heroes


  • Philip Zimbardo


Can thoughts ignite revolutions? How can one person’s imagination empower millions to challenge tyranny and injustice in the name of freedom and democracy?

In recent times, the world has been witnessing just such a mindful, viral transference of power in the uprisings and revolutions spreading across the Middle East. In Cairo, Egyptian youth, with neither a political leader of an opposition party, nor armed weapons to fight against the government militia, have been able to create a largely peaceful coup d’état. Remarkably, they achieved their goal in less than one month. Their success inoculated untold numbers of others in that region with a newfound moral courage, which is critical for translating personal intentions into civic action. We also have to acknowledge the power of the Internet and TV media for creating connectivity among the revolutionaries and the global spread of the unfolding events witnessed by millions worldwide, hour-by-hour.