Looking around at the world today, we see good and evil; heroes and villains, but there is another category that we tend to forget, often because we fall into it ourselves.
This category holds the people who don’t do anything about what they see. They do not hate others, but then they also do not love.
They might pity the people who have to go through hardships, but in actions they are apathetic.
They keep themselves to themselves.
This is the worldview that many of us live in now with a loss of the sense of duty to our fellow man.
We see evil out there, but we don’t think of ourselves as heroes. It just seems like too big of a job; we have no sense of where to start.
So, how are we to become heroes? How are we to approach the evil and neglect in the world?
Let’s imitate the heroes of legends: Beowulf, King Arthur or Robin Hood.
But wait, how could we possibly accomplish what they did? They killed monsters, and saved lives.
They had a secret: they did not do it on their own. They had a team.
How can we become heroes and change the world ourselves? We have to build a force strong enough to rid the evil.
We can’t do it alone, we need to build that team. Only then can we enter the battle, and fight for the good.
We first, however, have to recognize our enemy, and recognize our duty to fight it.
What is something that needs to be changed in this world?
What is an evil that needs to be stopped? It may be a disease, an epidemic or it may be a false rumor created to tear down a friend. Let us imagine it as a dragon.
It flies above us, seeming too dangerous and terrifying to approach. It has huge, bat-like wings, it breathes fire, and it has a barbed tail. It seems just too big for us. It does not land near us, but flies on, to some other unsuspecting town.
You could forget about it, after all, is it even your business?
It flew past you. You could let someone else deal with it, but would they?
What would happen if you just watched?
Edmund Burke answers by saying: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
The evil Dragon is there, and you would be helping it by ignoring it. Whatever the Dragon represents for you, you cannot just leave it alone.
We often ignore evils in the world because it is not personal, but you need to realize that this evil is personal to people just like you.
The Dragon is out there because no one has had the strength to defeat it yet. It will burn down dreams and threaten lives if it is not stopped.
We must therefore recognize our Dragon, and see that we must fight it.
How are we to become a dragon slayer? We must prepare for the fight. This involves creating a team.
If we look to our legendary heroes from the old stories, they could never defeat their enemies alone.
Beowulf, the prime example of a hero, was as strong as ten men! A dragon threatened his kingdom, and when he went out to fight it, he brought his warriors. He tried to kill it on his own, but he could not, he needed his friend’s help. They defeated the dragon together as a team.
Peter Pan won with the help of his Lost Boys, King Arthur with his Knights of the Round Table, Robin Hood with his merry men, and Henry V with his “band of brothers.”
They did not face danger alone, but joined forces in order to win.
We have such a team in front of us today. Rotary has recognized many Dragons, and is actively fighting them.
Polio has been nearly defeated, and they fight the Dragon of poverty and neglect, for mothers and children; they fight for clean water.
No single person accomplished this. They accomplished it as a whole, as a team. They make connections all over the globe to successfully fight evil.
Model your team after Rotary. A team that will build up and encourage each other. That is what makes a team work.
On that journey to fighting your Dragon, build your team.
Defeating any Dragon seems so daunting and dangerous, and so it is, when we try to face it alone.
It is better defeated when we have people fighting with us, beside us, towards the same goal.
Now you must enter the battlefield because you have recognized your Dragon, and you have built your team. Now it is time to fight.
It will take a long time. It will be hard. It will be tiring. You will want to give up. But you won’t, because you know that you are needed.
The world needs you. Your team needs you just as you need them. This is how you will kill your Dragon. This is how you make changes.
You will be strong in your band of heroes and when you have done something about the evil you saw in the world, that evil shall not prevail.
That evil will end. As Tolkien said: “So comes snow after fire, and even dragons have their endings.”