I spent yesterday on the site of Mycenae, an archeological citadel wonder dating back to its height of glory during the Bronze Age, or 1400 B.C. My American understanding of history is jaded; I forget sometimes how young my understanding of “old” is, and how shallow my admiration for American heroes in history is because, well, America is just so young.
Exploring Mycenae and seeing the reverence with which Greek heroes were honored, struck awe into me. Homer’s recount of heroes like Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Achilles come alive at the mount of Mycenae, as you stand amidst artifacts and cisterns that are over 3500 years old. From the mount, the sea sparkles from sunlight reflected from the dramatic, and ever-present mountaintops, and you can feel the history come alive underneath your feet.
It struck me yesterday how essential our need for heroes is. The idea of a hero is intregal to human nature, and we have all needed a hero to hope in and look up to since even before the Bronze Age. At Mycenae, there were shrines, stories, and elaborate bee hive burial tombs to celebrate their heroes; today we have history books, comics, and the news. Heroes remind us of the potential that we have within. They fill us with hope, dreams and inspiration. Like Ayn Rand said, “the world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”
Don’t forget about the heroes of history and the heroes in your life. Honor them. Honor their memory, emulate their integrity, and allow their example to fuel your own self-confidence to also live a life worth telling a story about.