As a fantasy writer, the whole subject of heroism fascinates me. What makes a hero? Is it the big things, the small things, a combination of things both epic and mundane? How does one become a hero? Is it a birthright or a choice – or again, some combination of destiny and determination? Thankfully for all my lovely readers, I’m not going to delve into all those complex questions today. Today’s question is a little different, and it started with a brief email from my Wise and Wonderful Sister.
Remind me to discuss with you the idea of not wanting to be the hero of one’s own story….
There’s a whole host of character development stuff I could talk about, author-to-potential-reader, but I want to get real. So, let’s talk one-on-one, real human being to real human being.
You aren’t the hero, and neither am I.
As Christians – and if you aren’t a Christian, hold tight. I’ll speak more broadly in a moment – but as Christians, we ought to view not ourselves, but Christ, as the hero of an epic story that has been unfolding since before the world began. In this story, Jesus is the suffering, sacrificing, redeeming, triumphant hero. The rest of us can marvel at the grace of being welcomed into the supporting cast, of being called brothers and sisters and co-heirs with Christ.
In a broader sense – here’s where I’m talking to everyone, so thanks for sticking around – what if we aren’t heroes? What if we are supporting characters for the stories of the people around us? I’m not suggesting we all become sniveling doormats, but how would our lives and our world change if we looked at others as heroes, rather than expecting them to pander to us… or even, you know, to “Like” our Facebook statuses and “favorite” our Tweets and not unfriend us for excessive posting of food and feet photos?
I haven’t fully formed my thoughts on this heroism thing, but you can expect to see it pop up again and again in my writing. As I told my Wise and Wonderful Sister,
Fantasy is a great way of processing this kind of thing, at least for me. When I see how a theme plays out in a character’s life, it’s a little easier to apply it to my own.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the whole hero thing, whether as it plays out in fiction or as it plays out in real life.