Mankind has always wished for more local thinkers. By local, I do not mean people who favor their own community or who focus their attention on only those nearest to them. I mean people who put safety and well-being of those in immediate danger before all else and who are willing to take risks to save lives. The villains we create for our own enjoyment are willing to kill hundreds now to save thousands later. The heroes step in are always prepared to risk their lives for a few people knowing that, if they fail, thousands more will die. In the movie The Avengers, for example, the villain, Loki, questions the heroes’ thinking. “Your world in the balance,” he states, “and you bargain for one man?” (The Avengers). This is the way with heroes. This is what sets them apart.
When Wendell Berry addresses the idea of local thinkers versus global thinkers in his essay “Out of Your Car, Off Your Horse”, he is concerned with more than simply caring about his neighbors. He suggest that, before we act, we should ask ourselves, “What will this do to our community?” (Berry 20). Every action, especially those meant for the “greater good”, have immeasurable impacts on the lives of everyone involved. A decision made for the good of one group of people will almost always lead to the destruction of another population. In times of struggle, it is this that causes the most problems; humanity is trained to fight for “us” and to fight against “them” when, in reality, there are no lines. There are not two distinct groups. Simply because we are different does not mean we are enemies, and it certainly does not mean that the well-being of any person is more important than that of any other. We cannot love “them” because we think that we must “be ready at any moment… to destroy ["them"]” (Berry 22). This does not make people heroes. Heroes are not the men who destroy “them” to save “us”. They are the men who ignore “us” to save “them”.