20 julio 2010

What Every Hero Needs to Know

I just finished watching Prince Caspian, the second part of The Chronicles of Narnia. It's an idea I've had in mind for weeks for some reason, and now I see that the timing of this re-viewing could not have been better.

In my personal sphere and on the world stage, the need for heroes (and the desire to find the hero within) to confront today's challenges seems stronger than ever before.

We all await heroes. Sadly, they seem late in arriving.

Whether the situation is one concerning health (Sara, Chari and Manolo with cancer), hope (my cousin's current struggles) or heritage (the dangers facing my much beloved country), the needs are so great, and the temptation to despair so easy to succumb to.

Nevertheless, I think it is important that we remember a few key things about heroes and how they rise. The key thread in this afternoon's viewing of "Narnia" for me was the victory of hope over impossibility. Time and again, the Faithful Four along with hosts of devoted Narnians stood with their backs to the wall, pressed in on by relentless foes much greater in number.

Many times they became tired, dirty and hopeless... yet they kept on fighting. A virtue very reminiscent of the example in perseverance we recently saw during the World Cup victory of Spain. Heroes get worn down and wounded; they often cry for answers and receive silence instead. Yet they keep on believing.

How? Battling on, while only trusting in one's own strength, is a sure recipe for failure. True heroes are not single stars of the show: they remain humble, they reach out and they bow their heads.

When President Obama was elected, I shared a glimmer of hope that perhaps we were about to witness a true hero's ascent during a great time of need. Those hopes have been dashed, not so much by his broken promises, but more so by his swagger.

Our country is in dire straits, similar to another dark time of fratricide faced down by a young lawyer from Springfield who, quite literally, gave all he had for the country he loved. In the darkest hours of the Civil War, he documented his own despair but also the faith that caused him to bow his knees to ask for wisdom, instead of relying solely on his prodigious intellect.

Heroes, despair not. Humility does prevail, hope can win out over impossibility. Raise that sword, lift your eyes, link your arms.. and fight on.

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