Every great book or movie generally has two central characters - the Hero and the Villain.
The hero is a character whose belief system and way of operating resonates with the audience and offers the promise of how we can live up to our greatest ideals, even when times are tough. The movie Braveheart offers a classic example with Mel Gibson in the role of William Wallace.
Often these characters are not perfect. For example, in Braveheart, the character of Robert the Bruce Jnr, doesn't always make the 'right' decisions, but eventually, his values and his need to do the right thing wins the day.
As they face challenges both physical and moral, these characters offer us a message of hope and inspiration. They hold out to us the message that, when we follow our true heart, when we act in alignment with our own and the greater good, then we will have lived a meaningful life.
Opposing our messenger of hope is generally a character who offers us a warning. King Edward the 1st (Longshanks) and Robert Bruce Senior.
The villains show us the dangers in pursuing our own agendas and interests, without due cause for the impact we are having on the greater good. Inevitably, these characters serve to warn us, that when we act in a way that is out of alignment with our own true nature, that we will ultimately feel unfulfilled.
Some time ago I came across the video of Zach Sobiech. At the time of recording, Zach was 17 and knew he was dying of cancer. His outlook on life and his remarkable sense of having a purpose right up until his death ensures that his short life is a message. His song, which you can download from iTunes and listen on Spotify, uplifts me each time I listen to it.
So who are you who shows up each day to the people around you? Do you serve as a message of hope and inspiration or a warning of how not to live?