What does it takes to become a hero? As most people would answer, a hero should possess certain qualities including courage, loyalty, honesty, generosity, kindness and some other remarkable traits. In addition, a person could be regarded as a hero if he has done a significant contribution throughout his life. Needless to say, a hero is being noted for his significant achievements in any field of endeavor that he pursues. Earvin “Magic” Johnson is a hero inside and out the court. His notable achievement and contributions made him as the recipient of the third Annual USA Today Hollywood Hero Award.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson became popular primarily because of his basketball skills. His basketball career started when he was still in high school at the Michigan State where he led the team to championship in the year 1979. His skills as a player in the Michigan State continued to boost and qualified him to play at the National Basketball Association (NBA). Basketball became an important part of Magic Johnson’s life. His leadership quality in this field is just one of the traits which reflect his heroic deeds.
In the year 1991, Johnson was diagnosed with the deadly AIDS virus (Pollock 426). This turning point in his life causes him to retire from playing basketball. But despite the fact that he was infected with the said virus, Johnson was never discouraged to continue with his life. As a matter of fact, he showed a lot of courage when he revealed to the world that he is an HIV-positive person.
He was never ashamed of his condition but instead he used this as a way to help other people to become more aware of the virus. According to a research conducted by Pollock (426), the revelation of Magic Johnson had changed the attitude of people about AIDS and it also altered their behavior in order to avoid the virus. Johnson’s announcement had influence and informed most of the public about the fatalities of the virus.
To some people, having the said virus would cause them to entertain negativities and stop them in believing with their purpose in life. But to Johnson, it was the reversed that happened. Upon knowing that he has the virus, he develops a foundation which aims to educate the youth as well as other men and women regarding AIDS (Tucker 1). He also pursues his dream of becoming a businessman despite of his condition.
Johnson’s kindness and generosity was reflected through his several projects which aim to help and develop the potential of the black natives in business and leadership. He raised funds and lends his services to areas which are underserved. He had been generous and kind to those people in which the state seems to undermine. Johnson never gets tired of helping and sharing his blessings with other people especially those who are in need.
Another act of kindness that Johnson showed was when the Hurricane Katrina hit the country. His Foundation, partnered with different grocery stores and drugstores, provided prescriptions and groceries to the victims of the said hurricane. The renowned basketball player and businessman also stated that he would find ways to generate jobs to those who have been displaced (Tucker 1).
The works, attitude, traits and contribution of Magic Johnson justified his achievement as the recipient of the USA Today’s National Hero Award. He is indeed a man with good and heroic deeds. His activities and attitude sets a good example to the youth and an inspiration to those who seems to surrender in continuing the battle of life. Inside the court, he possess the leadership, positive attitude and loyalty to his teammates while outside the court, he showed his kindness, generosity, outmost concern and willingness in helping other people. An ordinary person with extraordinary qualities, that spells the name of Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
Pollock III, Philip H. “Issues, values, and critical moments: Did `Magic’ Johnson transform public opinion on AIDS?” American Journal of Political Science 38 (1994): 426.
Tucker, Laura. “Business Hero: Magic Johnson.” 5 May 2008