17 July 2015
Courage is found in unlikely places. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
As I looked at the people in my life this week thinking of their hero stories, it occurred to me to turn the viewer around to face the other direction, too. The people who we see as heroes go home to their families, their day-to-day life, the same kind of routines and obligations we all must tend to. They worry, flounder, brush their teeth, act annoying and irritating. Like everyone else.
When I was a young adult, I thought most everyone else had things wired. From the outside it looked like they had terrific marriages, always knew what to wear when, could throw a party effortlessly right down to the pie with a perfect crust. It seemed they didn’t question everything about their lives. Like I constantly did. I spent a lot of energy trying not to look out of place, in over my head, uncertain.
What I see now is that it’s in the face of vulnerability that we get to know our own mettle and develop our own strengths. The hero’s test is inherently a difficult trial with high stakes and obscure outcomes. This test defines the hero and if she prevails, it provides experience and wisdom that she then weaves into the fabric of her life — the true reward.
We are unlikely heroes perhaps. So was Frodo.
It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. ~Mark Twain