To Those Who Wait
Let me know if this model sounds familiar to you: Hero or heroine, a maverick in his or her own right, is misunderstood by society, strives to achieve success or to prove his/herself or just to find a place where they belong, faces monumental obstacle, fails to overcome said obstacle, resolves to an abyssal slump due earlier mentioned failure and all seems lost. But just when the story seems to draw to an end, a voice (internal, external, or the superseding, authoritative voice of Morgan Freeman) speaks, letting our hero or heroine know that there is always a way and the worst thing one can do is to give up on one’s dreams. So, our hero/heroine is resolute to a new determination and the previously immovable hurdle, just sort of collapses (with even the most trivial of attempts- usually a previously unseen loophole or the realisation that you can climb an unreasonable number of stairs as Eye of the Tiger or any other of the motivational songs from the Rocky Movies plays in the background).
This model is perhaps the most reoccurring structure in our pop culture. The truth is, we want to believe that despite the hindrances life throws at us we can always get what and where we want. That’s all well and good; we need hope and aspiration for without these we wouldn’t be driven to chase after or achieve anything. But what I am coming to realise is that this model, which is so vested in our society, instils unrealistic expectations of difficulty and how we get through it. We half-expect that if things go wrong for long enough, a fairy godmother will eventually come along and wave a wand, giving us the chance that we are either too lazy or too starry-eyed to get ourselves. We cannot expect that life will inevitably follow the pattern of dream, obstacle and then triumph. The third undoubtedly comes only after hard work and perserverance. Perhaps it is just I who didn’t realise this until recently, who got caught up in the idea that the hero always wins, who expected that good things come to those who wait because they don’t. They come to those who fight.