Throughout history courageous, unselfish, sacrificial acts have described ‘heroes’ as unique individuals that served their communities above and beyond the norm. Song lyrics from the 1930s to 1970s have praised and denounced heroic actions found in songs by Jimmie Driftwood, The Battle of New Orleans (1936), and Mitch Murray and Peter Callander’s, Billy Don’t Be A Hero (1974) along with songs like John Henry (1870), John Brown’s Body (1861), and many others. Humanity craves heroes regardless of the culture or worldview people need to have something or someone to worship, admire, emulate, or detest; Joseph Campbell attempts and succeeds in describing in detail the arduous journey one must survive and endure to be reborn through the world navel and become the hero. Whether the hero is a favorite sports figure or singer/song writer or movie/television star or just a simple mom/dad trying to do the best they can for their children each has undergone moments of despair while in the dark valleys or exaltation of the mountain top to become the hero in the eye of the public or within the soul of themselves. “And so every one of us shares the supreme ordeal---carries the cross of the redeemer—not in the bright moments of his tribe’s great victories, but in the silences of his personal despair” (Campbell, 337).
As can be seen in the story of Jonah as related in the second chapter of Jonah in the King James Version:
“Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish's belly, 2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows a...
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...ous and barbaric by our genteel Methodists, yet by those noble ‘savages’ their gods were beautiful beyond measure. “Hence the figures worshiped in the temples of the world are by no means always beautiful, always benign, or even necessarily virtuous. Like the deity of the Book of Job, they fare transcend the scales of human value” (Campbell, 35).
Earnest Their of Rockwood, Tennessee stated: “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Same could be applied to the faces of the gods or heroes. Trials and tribulations, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, in for a penny in for a pound, and dynamite comes in small packages are a few idioms from the lexicons of the people of earth describing the ordeals one must faithfully endure to overcome in the end and join the ranks of the heroes with a thousand faces.
Campbell, Joseph The Hero with a Thousand Faces