Friday, September 24, 2010

Emerson said a hero is persistent

L1005335Image by Ignis [Ad.G] via Flickr
Much of this blog has fun with archaeology and the discovery of evidence of ancient culture and civilizations, the evolution of language, the historical migration of peoples, and the emergence of spirituality, complex settlements, cities and human organizations, all the elements that make up the raw material for a meaty, three-part series of fictional action & adventure stories! Many of my interests can be boiled down to "how did we all land right here right now?"

Those are all macro issues and a potential reader might rightly say, those topics are too big to wrap my head around and besides, who cares? So in my book I bring it all down to an individual and personal level, and address issues like, what is heroism? In my book, Gettysburg Passage from Amazon, we follow an everyday modern person, Rick Reynolds, who as the story evolves is asked to make choices that might be considered heroic. And he is not the only one. Several of his friends, including an emergency room nurse, and two high tech sales people -- even a priest and a college anthropology professor -- all are asked at different times to take on very hard, thankless tasks.

In our society today we spend a lot of our time avoiding these situations. It is not that we are selfish and uncaring. More likely I think it is that we are all so busy. But no matter how we try to avoid it, at certain points in our lives we are all asked to take on hard, thankless jobs. It could be the care of a loved one or neighbor, the organization of a community activity, the fixing of a problem at work where you will probably not receive appropriate credit. In my experience most of the time people do these things and they don't go looking for glory. They just get it done.

As Emerson predicted, people are persistent in their everyday heroic acts. An admirable thing.

In Gettysburg Passage, Rick Reynolds is pushed, pushed, pushed by forces outside of himself. Improbable, impossible things are glimpsed in the hazy, late evening summer darkness. A stranger rides up on a horse to his bedroom window just before dawn. He is somewhat familiar with the forces behind these actions but he doesn't understand them fully. He is reluctant to face up to what might be going on. Why should he? For the first time in his life he is becoming a professional success. He is making good money. Rick owns a mountain cabin. He enjoys outdoor activities and the company of friends. Why should he threaten this picture by getting involved in something that will likely rip him away from his comfort zone?

Does he take on the responsibilities of becoming a hero? And what of his friends? What choices do they make? Would you put your life at risk to accomplish a great task? Would you take it on with the awareness that no one would ever know what you did?

We read of heroes in the epics from ancient Greece, Egypt, Gilgamesh in Sumer, Rome, in the old Norse stories. But heroes are actually created every day right here around us. And we never learn about most of them.  If you would like to see how Rick and his friends do with the choices they need to make, please go to and look up Gettysburg Passage by John Callahan. To read it you need a Kindle or an app for PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android. The apps can be easily and effortlessly downloaded right from the book listing and the whole process only takes a few seconds. I also look forward to hearing from you on Twitter. You can find me @JohnJ_Callahan.
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