What do these three movies have in common?
I have seen three great hero movies recently. Edward and I saw Wonder Woman at the theater on opening weekend, about a week later we rented Hacksaw Ridge from the Redbox, and most recently watched Disney’s Moana with nary a child to accompany us ;). All of these were classic hero tales – opening with the age of innocence, followed by the call to duty, perseverance in peril, facing an “insurmountable” obstacle, disillusionment at seeming defeat, the climactic epic battle, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
What is it that draws us to hero movies? My personal theory is that we each want to believe we have a hero within. We need to believe that when the chips are down we would rise to the occasion with great courage and integrity like Diana Prince, Private Doss, and the Polynesian princess. I’d like to think so too. I’d like to think I am living in a world among heroes.
What I find to be true is that people don’t always act their best under pressure. Stressful situations don’t always bring out our greatest qualities. These are typically not our finest hours as we would hope. We have difficulty overcoming self-doubt and pain. Instead of rising up, we say and do things that do not exemplify our most heroic selves. This can be a crushing blow, and the worst part is that this blow is delivered by our own hand.
But I still believe I am living in a world among heroes. The common factor I find in the lives of heroes is this – one who acts as a hero under pressure is one who has acted as a hero in the mundane. Cultivating heroism in our everyday lives is the key to being ready and able to act with courage and integrity in that defining moment.
What is your most memorable example of a person cultivating heroism in everyday life?