Monday, June 26, 2006

Going through difficult times often forces one to change their perspective on alot of things. Ealier today I was reading my notes on a book I read a couple of years ago called Fire in the Belly by Sam Keen. The book was primarly written for men and I found it very interesting, thought provoking, and helpful in my own struggle as a man trying to live up to my own responsibilites and expectations ... Over the years alot has been written about heroes and the idea of the modern hero is generally not held in too high esteen, particularly, pop culture heroes. I am not hear to criticize modern pop heroes but I would like to pass along what Keen has to say about heroes because I find his notion of the "new hero" very appealing and relevant. I love some of the pop modern day heroes such as Superman, Spiderman, Batman, etc. but I don't find them particularly inspiring or easy to immulate. See what you think about what Keen as to say about heroes....

Characteristics of the New Hero

1. The new hero "is not" larger than life.

2. The new hero seeks to empower others rather than dominate and control.

3. The new hero seeks to live in harmony with others, if possible, and with nature.

4. The new hero is in touch with their emotions rather than constantly trying to repress or deny them.

5. The new hero is empathetic with others.

6. The new hero seeks equality with peers rather than heirarchy and pecking order.

7. The new hero is an intuitive man who is willing to explore the inner man.

8. The new hero is a man who realizes there is a mystery element to everything in life to one degree or another.

9. A new hero is not competitive to the point where he wants to eliminate or destroy the competition.

10. The new hero is morally outraged against the injustices of the world.

11. The new hero has a sense of wonder. Pays attention to nature, details of God's world.

12. The new hero acknowledges the importance of solitude and recognizes that solitude begins when a man silences the competing voices of the market, the polis, the home, the mass, and listens to the dictates of his soul.

13. The new hero must take time be with himself, to discover his desires, rhythums, tastes,gifts, hopes, and wounds and understands that one needs solitude to keep the relationship going between me, myself, and I.

14. The new hero finds ways to express his gifts and talents whether throught work or hobbies.

15. The new hero is able to restrict the daily excess of abstractions and revive his senses through bird watching, talking with children, visiting friends, preparing feasts, making love, reading, listening to music or sitting and quietly doing nothing.

16. The new hero takes advantage of the place where he lives and settles in and makes it a home.

17. The new hero is a man who nourishes and pursues friendships and does not insulate himself from the rest of the world.

18. The new hero is a caretaker of those children he has brought into the world.

19. And finally, a new hero is one who understands the need for wildness and wilderness experiences because they remind us that we are simply one species among many.

I wonder if I should email this to Marvel comics and what kind of new action hero could they come up with based on these new insights?


Kansas Bob said...

I was with you until you brought up bird watching :)

Great list Bill ... very thought provoking and inspiring ... I particularly resonated with #s 4-10 ... some of the others bring a bit of a challenge. Great start to my morning.

Bilbo said...

Hi Bob,

Remember....I'm just the messenger...Bird watching is not my cup of tea either unless we are talking about Bald Eagles or Falcons...Most folks start their mornings off with coffee to get them going. Don't know if my blogging entries can compete with Coffee on a regular basis but am glad to contribute to your starting your morning off with a bang....

Kansas Bob said...

Bilbo or Starbucks ... hmmm ... glad I don't have to choose :)