Heroes and Love.
It is the fate of those whose destiny it is to love great men and women to find within themselves the ability to compensate for the pieces of their love that are lacking.
Ok – that might take some easing into… so let me explain.
By ‘great men & women’, I am not speaking of great fathers and mothers, great friends, those that are loyal, compassionate, understanding and selfless – each of us has a greatness within us, and these people manifest the best parts of humanity as a whole.
No, I speak of the men and women who shape nations, change history, and give so much of themselves to their causes that there is little left for the personal love(s) in their lives. Men like Moses, King Arthur, Rev. John Rankin, or Martin Luther King, Jr. and women such as Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth I, or The Trung Sisters.
These are truly GREAT leaders, and history rings with their contribution. What the stories are somewhat less effusive about are those people who loved them. The individuals who quietly went about building a life… creating a support structure for these individuals so that they could go, and be, and do.
It’s harder, in a way, to be the shadow – to be the backbone – to be the support. You aren’t sucked dry by the demands of the masses as are those in the spotlight… but what is demanded is an acceptance of the fact that things will never be normal. There won’t ever be enough time or attention – needs won’t be met – attention will be drawn away.
But that person… the one who will handle the day-to-day, be the unwavering support, find depths of patience & understanding within themselves which rival in power the most valiant of warriors or soaring orators… that person is the true power behind the throne. They can build up or tear down… they can help or hinder.
The day is not won without them.
I am a complete sucker for old bible-based movies… you know the ones; where the costumes are crazy, the sets are elaborate, and the acting… well, let’s just say there’s more ham there than a butcher shop! I love them – cannot get enough of them. Call it a ‘guilty pleasure’; it’s total escapist fun for me.
There’s a bit in ‘The Ten Commandments’ that I think illustrates my point pretty well. Zipporah (Moses’ wife, sometimes referred to as Sephora) is talking to Nefretiri (Moses’ former love). They’re discussing the man they both love, and Zipporah says: “He has forgotten both of us. You lost him when he went to seek his God. I lost him when he found his God.”
As it happens, I don’t quite agree completely with the statement – I don’t believe Moses forgot about his wife. His former love? Sure… but not his wife. Did Zipporah ‘lose’ him, strictly speaking? Well, yes. But not completely. She was too vital to him – to maintaining his home (sanctuary), his family, and himself. He may not have said it all the time, or even shown her very often, but I don’t believe for a second she was forgotten.
Because the one who’s out there… standing in front, being seen and heard by every soul, being followed and emulated and (yes) hated… if they do not have their tether, they are lost. They cannot be what they are meant to be – who they are destined to become… they cannot build the realization of their fate… if they cannot depend on the strength at their back.
It’s a strenuous, thankless, sometimes heart-wrenching job. It is unappreciated and often dismissed completely. It takes strength, courage, determination, an unshakable love, and endless devotion. It demands a self-confidence not easily found. And for those who can find it within themselves to live this way, they are true heroes. Because what these people do is vital – they build the structure by which great men & women are able to change the world.
And that’s something worth celebrating.