My own heroes are the dreamers, those men and women who tried to make the world a better place than when they found it, whether in small ways or great ones. Some succeeded, some failed, most had mixed results... but it is the effort that's heroic, as I see it. Win or lose, I admire those who fight the good fight.
- George R. R. Martin
Every story need a heroes, and according to Campbell, every story needs the same hero.
The word hero comes from the Greek ἥρως (hērōs), "hero, warrior," and in the early days of the world was embodied by such men as Hercules, Achilles, Hector, and Odysseus. These men performed amazing feats of bravery, overpowered evil with their brute strength and were aided and guided by some of divine intervention. These men struck fear deep into their foes and inspiration to their fellow men. The stories of these men influenced nations and guided young men. But if they were alive today, they would not be heroes. They'd be fools.
Heroes, according to Campbell, are men and women who give their lives to something greater than themselves, who, as George R. R. Martin said, try to make the world a better place than when they found it - who fight the good fight.
Men of the ancient world fought hard and bravely, travelled far from home, many for years at a time - much like today's warrior heroes. They overcame trials and tribulations of all kinds and were often transformed and enlightened, but they were not heroes because they did it for all the wrong reasons. Heroes give their life to something grater than themselves and these men sought, above all else, personal glory and family fame. They were not men marked by the key attribute of a hero, humility.
John Dickson, author of Humilitas, defines humility as, “the noble choice to forgo your status, deploy your resources or use your influence for the good of others before yourself,” which coincides yet refines Campbell. Heroes who look upon their strength, their talents, and their status as a stepping stone for personal glory are not heroes, they're villains.
Heroes remember the poor, not themselves.