In Denial of Death by Ernest Becker, he suggests that “the problem of heroics is a central one of human life … society everywhere is living a myth of significance ..” He gives self esteem and heroics a bad rap. He claims it is the cause of all evil, all anxiety and our denial of death.
My view is that striving to leave a mark on our world is our purpose and the most significant driver to innovation and progress. Seeking to be remembered by changing your world, writing a book, creating a miracle, sharing your life with those you love makes me/us better. The motive of heroism can be corrupt when it desires to overpower others or presents itself in aggression, whether individual or collective. If the motive is recognition as a ‘good person’ the impact is likely positive and I am not troubled by the self interest. The impact of my self interest can make the interests of others important. I am okay saying ‘look at me’ (tacitly or implicitly) when I am acting in the service of others or creating something that might be a positive influence. I get anxious when my ego cries out for recognition for a self serving action. Observing my hero complex and checking the impact is helpful in curbing the swollen head of selfishness.
I am on a hero quest. Every day I try to do something that will be remembered as honest, generous, helpful, loving, innovative or provocative. How are you being heroic?
Make Today Remarkable, by being a hero,