Black Swans

Bob Dylan Quote about a Hero, Responsibility, and Freedom

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

What Is a Hero?

A hero is someone who understands
the responsibility that comes with freedom.
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan defines the essential characteristics of a hero.
Bob Dylan Hero and Responsibility

Bob Dylan

Lead quotation in Chapter 21, "Identity of the Successful Hero," in Your True Self Identity: How Familiar Translations in the Gospel of Matthew Hide Your True Identity from You, is a statement by Bob Dylan. 

Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, author and painter, who has been an influential figure in popular music and culture for more than five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when he became a reluctant "voice of a generation" with songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'", which became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. Leaving behind his initial base in the American folk music revival, his six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone", recorded in 1965, enlarged the range of popular music...(Wikipedia).

Definition of Hero

Here is Wikipedia's introductory definition of the hero:

A hero (masculine) or heroine (feminine) is a person or main character of a literary work who, in the face of danger, combats adversity through feats of ingenuity, bravery or strength, often sacrificing their own personal concerns for a greater good (Wikipedia).


Classical heroes
Heroic myth and monomyth
Slavic fairy tales
The hero in historical studies
Heroine or hero
The modern fictional hero
Psychology of heroism

Three Words

In addition to these various definitions and descriptions of a hero, Bob Dylan uses two additional words to define a hero: responsibility and freedom

Here are brief excerpts from 

n someone who fights for a cause
n a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength
n (classical mythology) a being of great strength and courage celebrated for bold exploits; often the offspring of a mortal and a god
n the principal character in a play or movie or novel or poem (
A responsibility is something you're required to do as an upstanding member of a community. If you're in a band, it's your responsibility to learn the songs and show up to practice on time.
Responsibility comes from the Latin responsus, which means “to respond.” There are actually a few different definitions of the noun. It can be another word for trustworthiness, as in, "He demonstrated his responsibility by showing up to practice on time." And it can be used to describe the social force that motivates us to take on individual responsibilities, as in, "A sense of responsibility drove him to memorize all of the songs." (
The condition of being free; the power to act or speak or think without externally imposed restraints
n immunity from an obligation or duty (

Pondering Bob Dylan's Definition

I invite you to ponder the words in the statement that: "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with freedom." What do these words mean for you?  

[Original Post September 15, 2014]
What are your thoughts about becoming a hero? Please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

Does the Bible Really Say That? Series focuses on the impact of Bible translations on what people believe “the Bible says” on any topic.

Your True Self Identity: How Familiar Translations of Bible Verses in the Gospel of Matthew Hide Your True Identity from you considers the idea of your true self-identity. Do you know your true self-identity? Are you happy being who you are? If you are not happy, what if the real cause of your unhappiness is that you don’t really know your true identity? One powerful reason is the effect of misleading translations of the Christian Bible.

One glaring example of the effect of Bible translations on identity is Chapter 18 of the Gospel of Matthew. Careful analysis of familiar translation choices in English language bibles demonstrates how sin doctrine creates false identities by turning the innocent into sinners.

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