What it Means to Live Courageously

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

“The adventure they are ready for is the adventure they get.” You may have heard of this line from the great mythologist Joseph Campbell. I love to watch documentaries. While browsing through on Netflix for a good documentary, I came across the video series, “The Power of Myth.” Released in 1988 a year after Joseph Campbell died, featuring Campbell in six wide-ranging hour-long conversations with Bill Moyers. What fascinates me about Campbell is his mastery of the human experience or better yet his mastery of myths and how they can be applied to our modern culture and experience.

In the episode about Star Wars Campbell makes this point about the hero’s journey: “This is a very interesting thing about these mythological themes. The achievement of the hero is one that he is ready for and it’s really a manifestation of his character. It’s amusing in the way that the landscape and the conditions of the environment matches the readiness of the hero. The adventure that he’s ready for is the one that he gets.”

In the wake of COVID-19, we are all experiencing something that we may have never experienced before till now. Spending time in isolation, with family and loved ones, spending time on reflecting, volunteering, etc. How ever we may all be spending our time, we can agree that this moment is truly unprecedented. In reading a New York Times article “God Doesn’t Want Us to Sacrifice the Old,” by Russell Moore, he quoted the great essayist and novelist Wendell Berry who told us that the great challenge of our time would be whether we would see life as a machine or as a miracle. The same is true now. We can never attach a numerical value to the value of human life. Life is much more precious than anything that can be measured. Hence, this brings us to the importance of our human experience. “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” ― Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth.

I strongly believe that we are all going to make some adjustments and changes hopefully for the better when COVID-19 is over. We all have a hero lying inside of us, perhaps dormant but when we begin to ask ourselves thought-provoking questions the hero inside of us is ready to change… and our change agents await us on the other side of what Scott Myers call FADE IN. Just like the story of Han Solo in his own protagonist’s journey, as Campbell described him: “He was a very practical guy, a materialist in his character at least as he thought of himself. But he was a compassionate human being at the same time and didn’t know it. The adventure evoked a quality of his character that he hadn’t known he’d possessed. He thinks he’s an egoist, he really isn’t. “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ― Joseph Campbell.

To paraphrase Maria Popova, Our lives are transient. Our conditions - the beautiful, the terrible - change either good and bad - are all equally transient. Our question is which experiences and adventures will you be embarking on when this is all over? We hope you will join us on all the experiences and adventures we look forward to providing in the near future. Live courageously.

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