Gareth Higgins /A New Kind of Heroism

Sat 4:00pm - 4:50pm

Venue: Library


Our culture's image of heroes tends toward an alpha male who uses physical force to overcome an obstacle, often leaving destruction in his wake. When female-identified characters are invited to play in the same territory, they often use the same tactics, and the effects are not much different.

But under the surface of these simplistic archetypes is a question: how should we imagine courage without destruction? What might true heroism look like - moving beyond the natural but often damaging reactions of fight, flee, or freeze?

Gareth learned his hero archetypes while witnessing the violent conflict and transformative peacebuilding process of his home in northern Ireland, along with experience among marginalized people, and finally his passion for cinematic storytelling. There is a kind of heroism that transcends one guy overcoming lots of bad guys, and leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Call it the difference between Rambo and Rocky - a hero is someone who creates safety for others. A deeper hero is one who does so while minimizing harm to anyone along the way. The wisest hero is the one who knows another secret. Join Gareth for this session to hear what he thinks this secret is - and how all of us - even those of us who feel like we are too small, timid, or vulnerable, can step into a new kind of heroism, right here, right now. In fact, the smallest, most timid, and vulnerable among us are probably already doing heroic things without recognizing them.