Hero’s are always ready for an adventure, right? When we think of heroes we think of people who race into the fire without a moment’s hesitation. Sorry to disappoint you, but Campbell’s hero is just as flawed as the rest of us and when the call to action comes they usually don’t accept right away.

Why Real Heroes Avoid Adventure

Campbell explains that leaving the familiar is hard. We don’t want to give up our comfortable surroundings. Sometimes these surroundings aren’t all that comfortable, but seem that way. For example, The Hero Within opens with the story of “The Drunkard”. The Drunkard is just that…someone who drinks too much. His whole life is falling apart because of his drinking, but does he want to stop? No.

Sometimes heroes feel too responsible for their hometown or loved ones to adventure. Of course I’m thinking about Encanto again (seriously what’s not to love about that movie??). Louisa needs to learn to relax. That’s her adventure. Maribel calls her to this adventure when she tells her she’s “carrying too much”. Nonetheless, Louisa feels too responsible for everyone to take it easy.

Consequences

Of course despite the hero feeling like they aren’t ready, the arrival of The Herald means that they have been “called by destiny” (Campbell, 2008). Refusing the call always results in trouble of some sort of the hero. Think of that time you put off homework you didn’t want to do. Weren’t there consequences? Maybe you got a bad grade or you had to rush at the last minute. You were called to finish your homework and putting it off stung in one way or another. Some more examples of trouble caused by refusing the call include:

  • Boredom
  • Depression
  • Loss of sense of self
  • Disaster
  • Loss of relationships
  • Loss of all that is comfortable

The Tipping Point

In the end, the hero must answer the call to change. They have to leave home. Consequences will continue to pile up until they finally do what they are called to do. Whether that’s quitting drinking, taking a chill pill, or throwing a ring in the pits of Mount Doom, all hero’s must answer the call or risk losing everything.

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