& Philosophy List
|The Ordinary Hero
Authored by Yves Bertrand
The Ordinary Hero is an in-depth search of where we should turn to
find meaning in our lives. Yves Bertrand describes three societal models that the ordinary
person tries to follow and compares these contemporary models to mythological heroes. The
first is the "star" who struggles and triumphs to be the best (Hercules), the
second is the "boss" who gives orders and organizes (Zeus), and the third is the
spokesperson for everything nature, the cosmos, God (Gaia). According to Yves,
these figures determine how we approach the world, how we act, and where we see ourselves
or dream of being.
The Ordinary Hero questions societys
"off-the-rack" images of who we should be and asserts that these images
ultimately do not work because they rely on external values, values that stifle knowledge,
imagination, and freedom. When these standards fail us, we are disoriented and aware that
weve searched for meaning in the wrong places.
Bertrand contends that the meaning of our lives does not
exist outside of ourselves, but that we need to build it from day to day in the freedom
that we can only attain through knowledge and imagination a "custom-made"
image celebrating our individual differences. Having conquered this wisdom and
acknowledging the need to change, we will all become ordinary heroes, true to ourselves
and at peace with the universe.