Part 2 – How Heroes Emerge (in Egypt)

To be a hero is not that hard. Pretty much you’d need to have a loud voice (and a megaphone), stand up high on something (statue, tank). I’d be thinking ‘symbolism’ – a picture that will burn into people’s memories, and slightly more importantly ‘press coverage’. Every hour memorable things will be taking place, but if you do not get a picture, and a story crafted and taken up by a reputable news source, then you might as well not have bothered.

The Yelstin picture in the earlier post shows how few people you need to have around you to make something ‘look’ meaningful. Add in a flag, a nice poster, and possible a couple of good looking followers (the press likes attractive girls, their audiences are drawn to them – it’s a neuroscience thing).

And then you need to work out what to say. In times of confusion, people will do anything they can to reduce their confusion. When people are drowning, they will hold onto anything that looks like a stick. [By the way, thanks to for an excellent list of the key persuasion factors that influence us ‘rational’ beings every once in a while).

So, based on these considerations, you need to be prepared with a kick-ass, inspirational zeitgeist speech, that must be recorded for posterity (essential – video and audio). You need snappy phrases that go beyond what is already being said. You need words that will live on in eternity. Now that might be a little extreme, so in the event you do not have immediate access to a Hollywood scriptwriter, I’d consider recrafting an existing well-known local quote and tuning it to the times, or come up with a 3 – 5 word riff that has a nice musical ring to it. Remember, you need to envisage a million people chanting the phrase, and a movement emerging.

Now, some potential heroes are going to be dissuaded from stepping up. Yes, there is a decent chance of being dead over this. The definition of being a hero is that you need to be fully aware of this, and be guided by a higher purpose of helping others. If you are not fully on board, there is a risk you will become a reluctant hero and thus lack the firepower and inner drive to really do what it takes (think Morgan Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe or Mir-Hossein-Mousavi in Iran).

The good news is that heroes get protected, automatically (well, after about ten minutes, but who’s counting – just watch out for snipers and rubber bullets). In this chaotic vacuum, people are looking for leaders. Leaders provide comfort. They remove the need to make decisions. They attract other followers, so you get safety in numbers. We need leaders, and leaders emerge from heroes.

And so, once we have ‘found’ a hero, we need to protect them. Rapidly a protective ruing emerges around the hero. There is a natural protective instinct, in men and women, that kicks in. In men I’d imagine the rush of vasopressin makes men feel protective of the hero, and all of a sudden, you have a form of human shield around the hero.

OK, we’ll skim more depth on that. In Part 2 we have covered what the hero needs to practically do, their speech, and how they’ll be protected. In Part 3 we will move on to the conversion process: how to convert a hero into a leader.

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