Be a Hero, not a Dwarf

I’d imagine that many across the United States may be taking time this Fall to re-read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien because part one of the silver-screen adaptation releases this December.  I’ll be the first to say I’ve already done that with a long standing reading group in Washington, DC – associated with National Community Church – called The Inklings.  Our group is named after the reading group that both Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were involved in that met at a pub in Oxford, England and previously we’ve joked about putting a “2.0” or “Reloaded” after it.  *Insert lame reference to The Matrix Trilogy here*

In one of the most sobering lines in the latter part of The Hobbit the narrator (Tolkien) is commenting on the nature of dwarves and states:  “Dwarves are not heroes, but rather calculating folk with a great idea of the value of money; some are tricky and treacherous and pretty bad lots; some are not, but are decent enough people like Thorin and company if you don’t expect too much.”  Encountering this in past reading of The Hobbit didn’t do much to me, I glossed over it.  Nevertheless, this time I can’t help but hone in on it.  As the line seeps into my consciousness I can’t help but marvel at the truth of it, maybe that’s because I work in Washington, DC and spent six-plus years on Capitol Hill.  So many of us are dwarves, running around chasing material wealth and affluence wanting to “be somebody” (and a lot of us are the ones that were picked on, derided, or ignored when we were younger so this is sometimes seen as “payback” for what happened then).  The more I look at the last seven years of my time in this city I see how/where/when I lapsed into that, because that’s what we’re all told: “work hard for the cause for a few years and things will work out.”  What happens when that doesn’t happen though?  When in the end, that job, the path – that got harder to walk as time went on, not easier – quits you instead of you getting to quit it?  I can’t say I have answers…yet.  Part of that, I believe, was improper expectations management; I believed what I was told – I expected too much of folks wrapped up in their own pursuit for themselves -I had to learn the hard way.

In most cases, the degree to which you know a person is equal to the degree in which you perceive they can help you and they perceive you can help them.  It’s a facet of that “calculating folk” piece of Dwarvish nature.  If this person can’t help me get where I want to go, I won’t invest the time; we may not say it, but we think it.  A Hero doesn’t do that.  A Hero sees the person for what they are, for what they aren’t, yet, but can be.  Heroes slog through the “Swamp of Sadness” and face the daunting task that is reaching the “Southern Oracle” in their quest to better the world they inhabit.  I happen to know such a group of Heroes, a group of people that have looked at someone others see little in and they see big things.  This group of Heroes has a name, I call them “The Dream Council” – a group of people committed to helping me move from the uncertainty of the present to the promise of a brighter future.

Can you do that for someone else, do you need others around you to do the same for you?  Who is on your Dream Council?  Be a Hero, not a Dwarf; the world has enough Dwarves as it is.

Posted on by Aaron in Comic Books/Superheroes

About Aaron

Author, Speaker, and Super Nerd. Aaron Welty speaks and writes regularly connecting the dots of life, faith, and science fiction. Originally from Michigan, he now lives and works in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

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