By Maria Cory
Our UU Fellowship would agree! A hero came along to Sunday Morning Forum this week when Brad Harper rendered an enthusiastic presentation about "The Hero (and Heroine's) Journey."
"What does it mean to be heroic?" opened Brad.
Having the courage to face our fears, to explore the unknown and to take action, answered a number of participants. These responses echoed the sentiments of educator, author and world mythology expert Joseph Campbell: "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek."
Looking at the common structure of some of the greatest heroic stories, Brad gave a comprehensive account regarding self-discovery, living a fully realized life and "following our bliss," as Campbell describes. Multi-stepped wheels for both the Hero's and Heroine's Journey helped illustrate this quest for wholeness—a quest that calls one to a deep internal journey of transformation which is as important as the external adventure—bringing our Conscious and our Unconscious into balance.
"I've lived this journey in the process of getting to where I am now," said Brad. "My method of presentation may have been flawed, but I believed in my vision!" he added referencing a lifetime dream of becoming a published author.
Brad expressed his gratitude regarding people who have helped him grow and gain wisdom along the way—both in his personal trek and in realizing his aspiration to publish a written work. "A Knife in the Fog," slated to be released in October 2018, is the culmination of his hard work and perseverance. What adds to the exuberance he conveys is that a sequel, “Queen's Gambit," is charted to be in print and on the shelves the following year!
"Each of us in our individual journey(s) to grow, to achieve, to create something larger than ourselves, has taken the journey. I am in the presence of heroes," Brad proclaimed humbly and thankfully to his friends who join him in this voyage of faith.
The feeling is mutual.
Brad’s joie de 'vivre and strength of character are gifts to our Fellowship. Grateful for the champions throughout all time, we remain joyful that this hero came along….
"Dreams are hard to follow
But don't let anyone
Tear them away
There will be tomorrow
In time you'll find the way.
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you."
Excerpt from the song "Hero," written by Mariah Carey, Walter Afanasieff