When does a character transform into a hero?
The valiant peasant dreams of conquering the evil oppressing her people. Ill-equipped, untested, and devoid of status. She faces impossible odds. Obstacles loom in her path. Enemies beat her back. The adventure scars her body and robs her of companions. Allies urge her to surrender. As the challenges mount, she must choose whether to give in to discouragement or persist.
Though unbeknownst to the peasant, heroes are either made or unmade in such moments. Whether she conquers evil or dies makes no impact upon her status as the heroine. The resolve of one’s heart forges character, not some final conquest. The uncommon decision to press on raises her above the status of commoner. The persistence through sacrifice to accomplish a noble purpose transforms a peasant into a hero.
We love to read about the ascent of nobodies. Our hearts pound with the dreamer who perseveres toward an impossible destiny. For we, too, are potential heroes. Deep within us, beneath our unlikely status as peasants, dreams of divine adventure niggle at our souls. We dismiss them most days. Ill-equipped, untested, devoid of status. The impossible odds stack up against us. We fear the sacrifices, the scars, and criticism from reasonable folks.
Are the trials worth the cost? We doubt. Shrink back. Consider surrender the most logical choice.
Yet, heroes and heroines cannot be forged in comfort, safety, or reasonable company. Our character will not be molded by our results, but through our courage. Heroes press on to fulfill their destiny, charge forth to serve what is right. We might not succeed. But if we hold our decisions hostage while awaiting a guarantee, we will remain commoners forever. Heroism is wrought within us when victory is uncertain, but we try nonetheless.
The moment comes often in our adventure. Not once, but over and over again. Depending upon the quest, we can face the choice to persevere each year, day, or hour. We face repeated opportunities to transform into the heroes of our life stories.
What’s your challenge to take up today? How will you choose to become the hero in this moment? Will you pursue an impossible dream?
Some days, just trying will declare you a winner.
Which leads me to remind you of a contest I posted a few weeks ago. Deadline for entries will be September 30th. Please post entries on the blog post from September 8th CLICK HERE.
Share your comments on heroism with us! I look forward to reading your thoughts.