#950 Natural Born Heroes

Plutarch (via Christopher McDougall) on True Heroism

The other day I found myself re-reading our Notes on Christopher McDougall’s great book Natural Born Heroes.

Although we’ve talked (many times) about the fact that the ancient word for hero literally meant “protector,” I realized that (somehow!) I’ve never shared McDougall’s brilliant wisdom that catalyzed my emphasis on the whole idea of all of us becoming modern heroes.


Let’s take a quick look at how McDougall so wisely puts it.

He tells us: “And what Plutarch taught them is this: Heroes care. True heroism, as the ancients understood, isn’t about strength, or boldness, or even courage. It’s about compassion.

When the Greeks created the heroic ideal, they didn’t choose a word that mean ‘Dies Trying’ or ‘Massacres Bad Guy.’ They went with hērōs—‘protector.’ Heroes aren’t perfect; with a god as one parent and a mortal as the other, they’re perpetually teetering between two destinies. What tips them toward greatness is a sidekick, a human connection who helps turn the spigot on the power of compassion. Empathy, the Greeks believed, was a source of strength, not softness; the more you recognized yourself in others and connected with their distress, the more endurance, wisdom, cunning, and determination you could tap into.

That’s Today’s +1.

Heroes care.

It’s that simple.


As aspiring modern heroes, we demonstrate that love and compassion by building the strength for two.


For whom do YOU aspire to have strength?


How will you build just a little more strength Today?


How can you use the strength you have in service to the world just a little more Today?

Modern Hērōs unite!!

Let’s do this.

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