Posts Tagged ‘hero’s journey’

Looking at Life Through Oakley glasses

In Social on October 22, 2012 at 3:54 am

Looking at life through rose-tinted glasses, we are told, is being unrealistically optimistic about what can and cannot be achieved by the wearer of these glasses.

When I see the clean image of Lance Armstrong, sustained over a decade , mutilated over a doping scandal, I am torn to bits myself and wonder if he saw the world differently through his Oakleys?

I take the concept of a hero for a spin to see how we can address a few annoying tugs of the heart.  I compare Lance Armstrong to a character out of a Greek tragedy, only to understand what makes us tick.  Why do we follow this story, what makes it interesting?

We must shed tears at the end of this tragic play, or it’s not befitting the script.  At the heart of my argument is the concept of a hero’s journey.  The journey a hero must undertake from cradle to grave, through the crucible of change leading to growth.  This mumbo jumbo is better explained with some concrete examples:

The hero’s flaw

We are intensely interested in a hero that has a character, moral or tragic flaw.  A dark secret that remains hidden and is revealed only at the end. This steadily intensifies our curiosity level over time to a crescendo of frenzy.  The end revelation could go one of two directions: a religious salvation if positive or a pagan purgatory if negative.  Both of these are valid character arches of a hero.

While we accept wholeheartedly an uplifting catharsis, we are just not ready for the letdown watershed moment!

So, did he do it?  Was he always clean as he has always maintained?  He couldn’t possibly win seven TDF titles without help from some friends! 

The self-revelation

The most redeeming of all stories has the character go through an incredible change in how he behaves towards himself and others.  What is the proper way to treat others?  This self-realization leads to visible growth.  This change in psychological and moral behavior, expressed by self-realization of the proper way for treating those he has hurt all this time, makes for an incredible growth in character.  Ultimately all stories express growth in a character.

Read the rest of this entry »