While watching the movie Hero I realized that I had a belief that might – or might not – be shared by everyone else. It may sound bizarre. If you imagine your life as a movie (or maybe a miniseries, we are talking about a long film), who is the hero of your movie? You, or someone else?
Your natural tendency is to view yourself as the central figure in your story, your life. The only exception might be through a loved one – a spouse, partner, child, anyone significant to you. But even though I might think of my children as being central to my life now, I don’t view them as the “heroes” of my life. I still – selfishly or stupidly – view myself as the “hero” of my own life. I am the one who causes things to happen, who causes things to happen to those close to me, and who can affect the outcomes of events in my life.
Imagining yourself as the hero of your own life is fine as long as you are succeeding, and unbearably difficult the moment you are failing. I wouldn’t expect the opposite approach to be appealing, either – imagining someone else as the hero of your life must either put an incredible strain on the other person or make you feel somewhat helpless. Yet I know people like this. I am quite sure the hero of my grandmother’s life, for example, was my grandfather. My grandfather, a dominant personality if ever I’ve seen one, was a strong and central figure in his family. Maybe that’s just typical of couples where one is dominant; I wouldn’t know, since Bubelah and I are certainly not in the least imbalanced; neither of us seems to feel dominant (yet I still do not view anyone except myself as hero of my own life).
So who is the hero of your life? Is it better if it’s you, or someone else? Does it matter? And can it be someone completely unrelated? Christ, for example, might be the hero of many people’s lives. I would guess that the identification of the real hero in your life probably says a lot about who you are and how you act.