The Heroic Spirit Group Guide

Volume V, Number III

Artwork by Simone Britto

Brave civilians. Firemen. Ai Weiwei. Ernest Shackleton. You. Which of these people is a hero? In this issue of KidSpirit, our increasingly global community of contributors examine the heroic in disparate times and places.

1. In the Big Question, Khalid Husain tackled the question of whether time shapes our view of heroes. He concludes that heroes cannot be seen outside of the context of their time and culture. Can you think of a person whose actions would be considered heroic in any time or place? Work with a partner; suggest a person whose actions could be universal and have your partner think of a time or culture in which the same actions wouldn’t be heroic. Switch. Try this 4 or 5 times and then talk about whether you think heroes are always a product of their time and culture or whether some can be considered universal.

2. In Media, Sam Miller reviews the graphic novel Goliath, a heroic story told from the perspective of the classic antihero. Take a story of heroism you know well and narrate it from the perspective of the antihero. Does it change your feeling about the antagonistic character to view the world through his or her eyes?

3. In her PerSpectives article, Caroline Myss describes the silent hero — a person who often goes unnoticed and helps others simply by doing something that might seem beyond his ability. We do this all the time and don’t even realize it! Write about a moment from your own life when you did something you thought was impossible in order to help someone in need. It could be as simple as telling yourself to keep going and persevere when someone else is relying on you.