Heroes and monsters, who are we to judge? We can put labels on the rumors of a history/mythology we weren’t there to witness, but in all reality: both heroes and monsters are legends! Hercules is not a constellation worthy hero without the hydra, the nemean lion, or his other labors. Similarly, Theseus without the Minotaur’s labyrinth, Jason without fire-breathing bulls, or Winston Churchill without whiskey – they may have been lost to time.
The fantastical and the real worlds are bound by a similar set of balance. What governs each differently is all a matter of perspective. The excellence within that balance is the turmoil that dwells within it.
The side of light is doing “good” when it illuminates the darkness, but is it incorrect that evil is doing “good” when it dims the forces of light? Perspective. We’ve spoken of it before.
Maybe it’s the appearance?
Perhaps one who is more typical, easy on the eyes, is more simple to label a hero. It’s possible a hero could be defined by their deeds, or their contributions to the world. However deeds and accomplishments can be biased. For example, expanding an empire is great for those within that empire, but devastating towards those being overtaken.
And what of monsters then?
Surely the nemean lion amidst the 12 labors was seeking only sufficient food to survive, like any other creature with a metabolism. Yet, here comes Hercules, tasked to slay the creature in it’s cave – minding its own business, thinking about settling down and starting a family. Who was the real monster!?
It’s possible there are no heroes nor monsters. If we remove our perception and allow ourselves to be completely zen, those embodiments of good and evil might be our very own inflection of thought. Of course, while pure and one with the universe, that can be somewhat disheartening. In worlds, real and fantasy, there is so much beauty that it seems wasteful not to be critically-appreciative.
I would like to think that a true hero is one whom wouldn’t accept the label. Call it humble, call it humility, but I believe that a hero is one whom the world is bettered by their very existence. “Bettered” of course being another matter of perspective, and one that they would never give themselves credit for.
By that same token, even the “world” is a matter of perspective. After all, while technology makes the world feel smaller, I can assure you that browsing around internet and trying to experience even half will remind you exactly how vast and cultural our tiny blue space-rock is.
I hope you have pondered the existential lines dividing good and evil and will question the motivation behind some self-proclaimed heroes.
And I hope beyond hope that you will post for me someone who is your hero and share your passion with the world as to why.