My Hearon With A Thousand Faces!
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"Everyone has the choice of being a hero every day of their lives or not being a hero. You can either help somebody, you can be compassionate towards people, or you can treat some people with dignity or not. And, in one way you become a hero and in the other way, you are part of the problem. It's not a grand thing. You don't have to get in a giant laser sword fight or blow up three spaceships to become a hero. It's a small thing that happens every day of your life."
~ George Lucas, From Interview in Power of Myth
This week, The Heart Beet reports straight from Heroes and Myths! Mary Kent names her hero, revealing what it means to be one of the almighty!
To hero or not to hero? That's the question I'm asking in this week's Heart Beet! We all know someone that we consider worthy of earning the title of Your Heroship. Maybe it's that angelic someone who came to your rescue while your tire blew out in the middle of the night. Perhaps it's the doctor who found what the others had missed. Maybe it's the heroic husband who hung the moon for helping in the kitchen. Or, perhaps, your heroic title found you looking within to find your own inner hero! Whatever the situation, we all know a hero and we all can point the finger at someone who earns the right to such an honor! As for me, my hero has always been my grandfather, a very simple man, but a man with a gigantic heart. His name was Tom Ed Hearon, farmer, churchman, sportsman, and mayor of a little town called Bethune, which lies near Camden, South Carolina. His name was Poppy to his grandchildren, and I had the great honor of being his grand-daughter for 21 years! Before my grandfather's sister whose name is Margaret died and long after my grandfather's death, she and I connected and she told me that my grandfather had always wanted to know his family genealogy, but had never tracked it. Recently, I had the great privilege to go back in time and do a little tracking for him! While I was digging through documents, running through graveyards, and meeting friends of my grandparents that I never even knew knew me, I felt that something other than my own little spirit was walking this family path with me. I recently visited with my aunt and we boo hoo-ed because we knew our hero's life had been cut too short many years ago from a diagnosis of leukemia. I shared with her the information I had done so far and she just beamed at her knowing. But, despite the fact that my hero was no longer with me sharing this journey, he was in the process of teaching me that there are definitely ways of communicating with your hero from far away, distant places. You see, I believe that just because your physical body isn't here on Earth anymore, doesn't necessarily mean that the spirit of the person doesn't exist anymore! On the contrary, and as I found these wonderful things about my family, I realized my hero's spirit was alive and doing quite well. When I would learn something interesting about his grandmother or see a funny picture of someone who my father looked like, it was almost like my hero was in the room laughing out loud, knowing he had been guiding me the entire way. He probably knew now everything about the family I didn't, (I mean don't you know everything once you pass over?) but somehow my learning our family lineage kept me more connected and re-connected to my hero than I have ever been in my life.
So, why did I choose my grandfather as my hero? It's a pretty easy answer. For most of my life, I felt the honor and love that came from within his heart. He wasn't President, though he and his wife did resemble Ronnie and Nancy. He wasn't uber-rich, though he was quite successful in his field. He wasn't a mean, slave driving southern land owner, he was kind, honorable, and treated those who worked for him the same way. I know this for sure because it was his favorites Puddin' and Lewis Lee who were among the Pall Bearers who carried him at his funeral. He wasn't perfectly healthy because I know he sneaked cigarettes and loved a Seagram's Seven, or, two. He was just who he was: a Scottish-descended, honorable, noble man at heart, who could make anyone laugh at the drop of a hat and had a sparkle in his eye that would make you grin just by looking at him. He carried all of the characteristics in his tall, strong frame of what it meant to be humble, pure, loving to wife and family, and exceptional in character. These types of powerful men lie far and few between in these days and if you are lucky enough to be in the presence of one, you best know that you are in the presence of greatness. The glory of my hero is that he didn't have to try to be this way, it's just who he was. It was embedded in the very essence of his DNA. What I know for sure is that I chose my hero because of what was inside his heart. This man loved me and our family so very unconditionally and whenever I was in his presence I could feel it. And, truly, whenever I think of him to this very day, I can still feel that love crossing over from wherever he is. There are just some heroes that are worth keeping alive and my grandfather is one of them! In my opinion, if a person has the power to keep that much love in a girl's heart alive even from spiritual distances apart, then that qualifies as one heck of a hero. I'm realizing every step of what I did putting my family lineage together was for my hero and maybe now since we are most likely on the same page in our knowing, he'll grant me the title of being his hero. After all, I did it all for him! And, that was the only gift I ever knew how to give him from what he had left behind for me to find.
So, you want to be a hero? Here's what you'll need to incorporate the title into your being:
- Bravery & Courage. Often times a hero must move forward alone when the others have teamed together. This requires bravery.
- Determination. Heroes qualify with a fierce knowing within that allows them to carry out the task.
- Dedication. An attitude of commitment is high on the list of any hero!
- Endurance. Strength from within is something a hero will hold near and dear.
- Perseverance. A hero never gives up!
- Valor. This strength applies to the hero as he can walk into any dangerous situation calm, secure, and decisive.
- Selflessness. A hero is on a mission that leaves himself behind.
- Sacrifice. Most heroes are giving up something for the greater good.
- Humility. A hero will go the extra mile to make himself/herself uncomfortable! They will always be the first to forgive, the first to lay down the sword, and the first to walk away from the fight.
Without doubt, one of the most fascinating people I have ever read about was a man by the name of Joseph Campbell. I have a few of his books, but it wasn't until I watched him on a copy of Power of Myth that I really became hooked! Joseph Campbell, mentor and most likely hero to George Lucas, is probably most famous for his book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces. Campbell who was an expert on mythology coined one of the most wonderfully simple statements, "Follow your bliss!". He was a man who kept true to his own bliss by teaching his much loved methodology of the Hero's Journey to many a script and novel writer! George Lucas found delight in Campbell's intellect and was greatly mentored by him! I'm a fan of both men and definitely feel that Lucas helped us learn the Hero's Journey in Star Wars with his own portayal of Luke Skywalker! LOVE!!!
In the spirit of my love for the Hero's Journey, a few months back, I visited an exhibit at the museum with some relatives called Heroes, Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece. It was an inside look at the life cycles of Herakles, Helen, Odysseus, and Achilles, heroes of Greek mythology. The exhibit was filled with many of the tales of the Ancient Greeks who recorded them on all various types of artwork such as pottery, gemstones, and coins. At the museum, you could take a quiz! Click here to find out which mythological figure you are! I was Odysseus. "You have the rare talent for knowing what to do and this enables you to get out of sticky situations. You are clever and crafty and love adventure!" Maybe you're Odysseus too! Whether we go forwards or backwards in time, the hero is alive and circulating everywhere! My hope for you is that you FIND your hero and most importantly keep your chosen hero close to your heart.
Keep your hero ALIVE!! Or, be your own hero! Or, tell your chosen hero just how much you think they're fab! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week when we talk about Genealogy.
PS. I love my nephew Buchanan! He's my little hero!
PSS. Check out Joseph Campbell's Foundation!
PSSS. And, I love La Croix fizzy water!!!