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The (Super) Hero’s Journey

There is a common pattern in stories from two thousand years ago in Greek mythology and more recent stories like Star Wars and Superman. It’s often called “The Hero’s Journey” or the “monomyth”, popularized by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

In a monomyth, the hero begins in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unknown world of strange powers and events. The hero who accepts the call to enter this strange world must face tasks and trials, either alone or with assistance. In the most intense versions of the narrative, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help. If the hero survives, he may achieve a great gift or “boon.” The hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with this boon. If the hero does decide to return, he or she often faces challenges on the return journey. If the hero returns successfully, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world. ~Wikipedia

This is my hero.

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He’s on his own journey. His ordinary world was back in Colorado, where he lived a relatively stress free, normal life. His call to adventure came from our opportunity to move to Philadelphia where he would have to enter a strange world to make new friends and face the other trials that normally come along with moving to a new city. His severe challenge now is the epilepsy that has altered his life so much in such a short time.

In the monomyth, the hero may get help on his journey, and my son’s journey is no different. We are grateful to have the help and prayers of our friends, our family, and of the doctors, nurses, therapists, and everyone else that is giving of themselves to help my hero face his challenge.

My hero is very much in the middle of his journey, but I know that my hero will return successfully from it, and I have no doubt that he will also find a way to improve the ordinary world, just like he improves mine.

 

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