Another interesting essay!
Will jump into childhood for a moment.
When it came to books and stories,I think it was the adventure/subject matter that drew me more.
And the experience of “becoming lost” in a very good story. As well as a love of words and language.
As for “heroes,” I was more influenced by living people in my life. My Mom and Dad and Grandmother, all educators. But also dreamers and artists each in his/her own way.
My Mother was my call to adventure in the natural world, the planet. The first time she showed me a leaf or pointed out constellations.
Or I think of the time she showed the stars to a 24 year old man with Leukemia 😢🥲
And I cannot build a fire without thinking of my Dad. Or read passages from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit and hear his voice reciting those poems.
He would try to save injured animals too (from frogs to woodpeckers—or try to take them to the vet-the frogs) Dad found the dazed woodpecker on the side of the interstate and brought it home. It stayed on a stump. Then hours later it finally flew away.
Or the echo memory of Grandmother playing piano jauntily in the house.
Or her patience teaching me math.
Or her idea that dancing might be a fun thing to try and it became everything!
Or my tap Mentor Beale Fletcher (former vaudevillian) what a call to adventure!
But there was someone not in my family or a book who had a huge influence on me as a tiny child: John Denver…
It is probably as close as I ever came to looking towards a “hero,” except that word came much later in life through Joe Campbell!
I think John Denver felt like a “friend” to me every time I heard his music.
When I was about 3 or 4 my parents took me to a John Denver concert…loved it.
Also know I’ve retained a strong love of the earth and of trees, animals…
And then at 11 for me there was another character “Vincent” Beauty and the Beast (but I had great appreciation for the actor Ron Perlman)
Love of words and poetry.
I think what Brad said near the end was right on—-about those simpler acts of kindness being heroic.
It seems like Gandalf says that (movie version hobbit) Saruman believes only acts of great power make a difference but Gandalf believes in the ordinary acts of everyday kindness done by everyday folk. (Sorry for poor transliteration)
Makes sense to me!
Yes Children can be very brave!
God knows some children experience ordeals at very early ages-it’s hard to even imagine some of that—war—-cancer—but if they pull through my God! And aren’t there stories about one sibling saving another siblings life or a friend’s life or trying to rescue animals?
It shows bravery and heroism can come in very small packages.
Maybe it’s the difference in “trying to be a hero” and simply doing something, which will be considered heroic by others. (Because one is compelled within to do good)
Again why Samwise Gamgee universally.
Have other Thoughts but will stop here tonight. Happy New Year!