Out of all of the heroes we discussed in class, the one that best encompasses the idea of “sacrifice” in every sense of the word is Gandhi. I know that several students have already discussed Gandhi on this post (as well as Mrs. S. in the example), however, I think that he is a really inspirational figure because instead of using violence, as we have seen through many of the other heroes we discussed, he used peace to make his point. He was able to prove that you do not need to fight in order to make great societal and cultural changes. Before watching the movie in class, I knew next to nothing about Gandhi and his life, particularly what led him to become the leader he was. I thought it was really interesting how that one incident he had on the train changed the course of his life (and the lives of thousands of others) so profoundly. Through his efforts, he sacrificed his health, safety, and eventually even his life. Though I would not say that I would be able to do what he did if I were faced with similar situations (even if I did have strong convictions on the matter), I am inspired by his heroic actions to help his people.
I chose to relate Gandhi to Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. Like Gandhi, Dumbledore was a leader to a group of people who were being oppressed and who were fighting a bigger evil. For Gandhi, this was the British Empire, whereas for Dumbledore this was Voldemort and his followers. Also like Gandhi, Dumbledore was peaceful and strong in the face of his enemies and would not show any fear in the face of Voldemort. As a result, Voldemort was actually fearful of him and what he was capable of. In addition to these similar qualities, both Dumbledore and Gandhi show great wisdom and knowledge and are seen as mentors to younger generations. Both played a huge role in their followers’ success in the end. Though Gandhi was not always physically present in the fight of his people, as he was often in jail, he was able to instill the knowledge needed to defeat their enemies. Dumbledore played a similar behind-the-scenes role by giving Harry the information needed to defeat Voldemort. He may not have been at the final battle between Harry and Voldemort, but his values and wisdom were probably the largest factor in Harry’s success. Dumbledore sacrificed many of the similar things as Gandhi, including his health by assisting in Voldemort’s demise. He also eventually gave his life so that Harry could have all the knowledge and tools necessary to finally defeat Voldemort.