Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Standard Hero Behavior and the little decisions

I recently read Standard Hero Behavior by John David Anderson and particularly enjoyed the following quote.
"In the bards' songs, everything was pretty clear-cut, almost predestined. The heroes rode out of the gates determined and rode back in victorious. Motives were clear: good and evil, right and wrong. Heroes didn't sell boots. Swordsmen didn't take naps. Bullies didn't wear dresses. There was no such thing as a shortcut. It almost seemed as if there was no such thing as a choice. There was SHB*, and everybody stuck to it.
"Outside of the songs, however, there were decisions, which were irritatingly always accompanied by consequences."
At this point in the story, Mason and his friend Cowel have encountered a retired-hero-turned-shoemaker, a narcoleptic swordsman, and a cross-dressing giant. The boys have not had much success on their quest so far and are feeling a little frustrated. I felt impressed with the depth of their complaint. While the clear motives exist, life doesn't often hand us clear decisions or answers. The little in-between choices that make up our minute-to-minute existence are the building blocks of our characters and dictate the success of our quest,

...whatever it may be.

*Standard Hero Behavior

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