The exploration of new lands and ideas has always been essential to the human existence. The heroes and heroines who lead us through to a new horizon are the people who push past the boundaries in order to improve the lives around them. In short, everyone who moves beyond the box of confined thought is a hero. In the presentation “The Hero(ine)s Journey in the Face of Changing Mythos” on Sept. 22, by Tommy Donovan, Ph.D., a professor in the Honors College, an author and a psychologist, brought the age-old story of the hero’s journey into a modern light. Donovan explored the hero’s journey and the mentality of “I am, only because we are.”
By using the traditional myth of the hero as a guide, Donovan sifted out the pieces of the hero or heroine’s journey, making the journey more relatable to today’s world situation. The presentation started with the explanation of modern female heroes and how their current breaches on societies throughout the world are adding invaluable perspectives and progression to the world by sheer force. During the presentation, Donovan continued to inspect possible new myths of the iconic hero’s journey and how it differs from the more traditional one.
The traditional and modern mythos of the hero’s journey starts with a call to the threshold where a hero or heroine is pulled to an unforgiving abyss. The call “is to discover the meaning of [your] life and how [you] fit into the greater scheme of things, to discover, in other words, who you are and how your gifts and talents can help create a better world.” In the traditional myth, the hero will go home and improve some quality of their specific community or society, but in the more up-to-date version provided by Donovan, the journey involves another step. The modern hero will look at their communities or societies with a new light in comparison to the world, and try to not only move their own society forward, but also progress societies in and out of their community by helping them adapt to new ideas or ideals about communication and the ways of the ever changing world. A true hero steps outside the box of a single form of thought and and inspects the world around them as a whole to cultivate their own ideas and help reshape a global myth that may potentially pull people together in a way nothing yet has.
Donovan brought his presentation to a close by asking for new heros to brave the unknown and rewrite the traditional hero’s journey. To go beyond helping one specific group of people to changing all communities or societies to interact with each other in a more efficient and effective fashion. Donovan said to “move beyond the simple immaturities of our species and [prepare] the future generations, strong in grace to weave a new global movement.”