Polmont Many Voices: What does it mean to be a hero?

“To be a hero you don’t have to be a genius like Einstein
You don’t need a halo or to be god’s sign
You don’t even have to go through life without committing a crime”

To celebrate our 18-month “Many Voices” project, we are sharing work from the various groups and individuals that have taken part in the project and shared their stories.

During spring 2017, a group of young men based at HMYOI Polmont worked with artist Sarah Short, creatively exploring the theme of heroes.

Sarah said:

“I feel writing was a great way for the boys to explore and present themselves as more than prisoners – to feel that the things we have done don’t define us, and that in writing we can take control of how we present ourselves to the world.”

 

Read selected work from the group:

“To be a hero you don’t have to preach peace like Gandhi
You don’t have to be a champ like Ali
Just do your thing
Don’t have to be called Martin Luther to be a king
To be a hero you don’t have to be messiah or a
prophet
But you do have to help others with no want for profit
To be a hero you don’t have to be a genius like Einstein
You don’t need a halo or to be god’s sign
You don’t even have to go through life without committing a crime
But you do have to help darkness become light
To be a hero you do have to stand up for what’s right
A hero has many choices
And a hero brings many voices
A hero helps people on their way
It doesn’t take much to be a hero for a day.”

 

“A hero doesn’t need to have a lot of intellect…
A hero might not even deserve respect…
A hero isn’t someone you can just select…
Not everything they do may be perfect…
No special effects on video tape…
No gadgets and no cape…
A hero doesn’t need to be brave
or big and scary
A hero just has to be ordinary”

 

Not all heroes wear capes
my hero wore a purple anorak
Not all heroes are physically strong
My hero was a five foot tall
Not all heroes can fly
My hero drove a Ford Fiesta
Not all heroes save the world
My hero saved me
Not all heroes wear capes

 

“My hero is my gran. If it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t be who I am, or be here. She made me who I am, she brought me up. She took me out of care. Looked after me. Made sure I always had the best of everything.
She taught me to ride a bike, that doesn’t sound like much, but it meant the world to me. She meant the world to me.
She always stuck up for me, no matter what I did. I could never have done wrong in her eyes.
She taught me how to be respectful and generous.
She didn’t want me to be like my dad; in and out of jail.
I didn’t want that, but here I am.”