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“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive.”
—Barry Lopez
(as Badger, in Crow and Weasel)


To be nobody but yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
- e. e. cummings


------Things don't inspire me. People do! I've believed this to be true for as long as I can remember. There is always someone for me to look up to in every situation, and more often than not, I have aspired to someday be in his or her position. So it seems as though one could conclude that I have had many heroes. On many occasions I've taken the idea to extremes bordering on idolatry, allowing my happiness to depend on these significant others. I allowed my actions to be shaped by theirs, and rose and fell with their successes and failures.
------Many are the times I have placed public or historical figures high upon pedestals only to discover that the monument of my construction rests on unstable ground. With an unnerving frequency, I have come to realize that these pedestals reach to heights far higher than my heroes are capable of climbing. It's a long way to fall, and I've seen more than a few take the plunge.
------When these tragic falls occur, much goes through my mind. Am I to blame for placing them on such an unsafe plane? Is humankind less capable of goodness than I assumed? Each fall brings new questions and new answers. The pain is always short lived as my questions reveal new insights into the truth. I discover exactly what prompted me to regard this hero so highly, and take from this many attributes, each added to my arsenal of goodness. I discover that the fall is almost never related to the traits, deeds, or values that propelled my mentor to hero status to begin with. These actions or ideas remain in the folds of human experience. I come to the realization that my heroes where never flesh and blood... My heroes have always been ideas!