Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Heroes Among Us, Historical, Fictional and Always Inspirational

Two Fall film releases remind us that we humans are capable of greatness. Each movie shows ordinary men daring to become extraordinary by simply meeting one challenge after another. Neither man considers giving up or giving in, and both risk life itself in order to endure. Perhaps most important, each man shows others what courage and reason and passion can accomplish.

Bridges carry us from shore to shore as literature carries us from our limited
experiences to a community of insight and understand.
Photo provided by Al Griffin.
Photo of a railroad bridge across the Mississippi River, Louisiana, MO

James Donovan is a man whom history has lifted on high. Spielberg’s film, Bridge of Spies, and Tom Hanks’ performance place Donovan on our collective shoulders. We know that two men came home from the Cold War because of him. The film also credits him with more than 9,000 lives reclaimed when Fidel Castro took over in Cuba.

The second hero rises from Andy Weir’s fictional and learned novel, The Martian, and the film adaptation of that book, also titled The Martian and directed by Ridley Scott. The film’s star is Matt Damon as astronaut Mark Watney.

The story shows a man against odds so great others might have surrendered to them. Watney does not. He uses his “mad botany” brain to grow, invent, innovate, and discover. He later teaches candidates for the space program to never, ever quit. Such frontier spirit and daring-do are traits often found in explorers who break barriers and open gates for the rest of us to pass through.

Literature and film are rich in examples of men and women who prove we humans aspire to greatness and often achieve it. On Thanksgiving Day, remember to be grateful for the promise within is. Vow to fulfill that promise within yourself and to do your part in insuring others can fulfill their own promise as well.

Reading Challenge:

Read the films Bridge of Spies and The Martian. Read also Andy Weir’s excellent novel, The Martian.

Writing Challenge:

Choose your own literary or historical hero and celebrate him or her tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day.

Connye Griffin is My Writing and Editing Coach.
She also writes for Our Eyes Upon Missouri.