The actions of the hero change the outcome—and that’s how heroes are anointed.
Heroes do the extraordinary while engaging in the ordinary. A hero gives himself to something that’s bigger than himself. He sacrifices himself by saving a person or saving an ideal. Or, the hero sees a bad situation, one that tests human consciousness, then reacts spontaneously to fix it. The actions of the hero change the outcome—and that’s how heroes are anointed.
A young man woke up one morning, following the same ritual patterns he always followed. The tedium of the routine was a bit like sleepwalking. He did it easily and mechanically. The alarm rings. Push the over-sized dog off the bed, shower, breakfast, then go off to school. It was a normal beginning. Nothing exciting was going to happen. Nothing was expected of him other than to show up. The morning began like any other ordinary day in suburbia. Until it wasn’t. And on that ordinary morning, a new hero was anointed.
He left the house at the usual time. Turning down Newman Springs Road he saw the protesters. They were waving placards and posters as they chanted and yelled. They blocked the sidewalk with inflammatory posters that accused anyone entering the clinic of murder or genocide. They presented as a hostile wall of anger.
He was familiar with the protesters, for he’d seen them in front of the building every day. But on that ordinary morning as he came to the red light, his eyes wandered to the parking lot. He saw a young woman standing next to her car. She looked terrified and unsure as she stared at the protesters. The light turned green and he drove on. For the next few blocks, the frightened young woman and the protesters flashed through his mind. He came to a driveway, turned the car around and drove back to the woman.
He pulled into the parking lot where she was still standing. He went to her and said, “You shouldn’t be treated like this. Let me walk you inside.” She asked him, “What about them?” She meant the protesters. “I’ll deal with them!” he told her. When they got inside he asked her if she’d like him to wait for her so he could walk her back to her car. She told him she’d be fine. As he left the building, he took the brunt of the screams and yells with a shrug.
When I heard this story, I knew I had to speak with him personally. I needed to hear his side of what happened. After a few phone calls and texts we set a time to talk. Knowing that many of these events often turned violent, I asked him if he was aware of that. He said yes. I asked him if he was afraid. He said, “No, I’m a big dude.” I’d forgotten that the young man I saw in my mind’s eye as a 10-year-old had grown to 6 feet 4 inches and 210 pounds. I laughed at his answer, because his physical size was truly intimidating.
“How did it make you feel helping her?” I asked. Without a moment to think about his answer, he replied, “Everyone has a right to protest, but no one has a right to harass another person’s decision.” Then he clarified, “She was just going in for a regular appointment—you know, the stuff they do in those clinics.” Apparently he knew more of her story than he’d related to me in his clipped sentences.
Finally I asked, “Why did you do this?” The simplicity of his reply was stunning. “It was the right thing to do,” he said. Parents wonder if they’ve raised their children with the right values to live by. They worry if they taught them well—did they give them the right moral tools to make it in a world gone mad? I answered those questions for them—His parents had raised a spectacular guy.
Carl Jung once described a hero. He said, “He is no hero who never met the dragon. Or, if he saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing.”
His replies in that conversation and his actions that day told me he was extraordinary. On that ordinary morning in New Jersey, an ordinary hero stepped up and ushered a frightened young woman through an angry mob, to her ordinary appointment. That 17-year-old young man was a hero though he never saw the dragon!
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to http://www.starsoundings.com or email email@example.com.