A Hero shows us that almost anything is possible, if you’re willing to take on a challenge. There is something about any Hero that gives us something to measure ourselves against, not in order to compete but to create a sense of possibility and idealism in a daunting world.
Whether it’s Odysseus defending the ancient Greeks from the Trojans, Judas Macabbeas defending the Hebrews from the Romans or Winston Churchill helping guide England through its darkest hour, the Heroes’ effect on society is tremendous. Joan of Arc died at the stake for her beliefs. Abraham Lincoln took on an impossibly recalcitrant Congress in the name of emancipation.
Modern-day Heroes are all around us as well, living proof that the path of the hero’s journey can be walked at any time in life. Through his passionate work to raise money and awareness for spinal cord injury research, quadriplegic actor Christopher Reeve embodied the amazing qualities of courage and perseverance often found in Heroes. Dian Fossey was considered by many animal activists to be a Hero for the work she did defending gorillas from poachers in the mountains of Rwanda. Then there’s Chesley Sullenberger, an airline pilot who gave us the story of the miracle on the Hudson and who was so modest that his wife had to hear about his great act of heroism on the news rather than from him.
Every Hero becomes a part of our popular mythology. But they do so unintentionally. It is the bravery of their actions and the fortitude of their convictions that compel them to do what they do, not the need for adulation.
Jonas Salk, Rosa Parks, Neil Armstrong
Heroes know how to stay true to their mission and pursue their goals without succumbing to naysaying or fear.
Sometimes people who are busy saving the world may not have time to do the dishes or tuck the children in.
Finding battles to wage and wrongs to right, the more difficult the better
- The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell
- Gilgamesh by Anonymous
- The Odyssey by Homer
- Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln by Doris Kearns Godwin
“It’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” -Abraham Lincoln