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Or- Everyone is the hero in their own story.
Adversary, nemesis, arch enemy, whatever you call them, it is a sure bet that you will meet them on your hero’s journey.
The nemesis also has a role to play. Without them, the hero wouldn’t become a hero. The nemesis is responsible for:
1. Conflict: They create obstacles, challenges, and opposition that the hero must overcome to achieve their goal or complete their quest.
2. Catalyst for Growth: Through their encounters with the nemesis, the hero is forced to confront their weaknesses, fears, and flaws. This inner conflict and self-discovery are integral to the hero’s transformation and evolution.
3. Contrast and Duality: The nemesis often embodies qualities or values that are in direct opposition to those of the hero. This duality creates a clear contrast and highlights the hero’s virtues and ideals.
4. Symbolic Representation: In many cases, the nemesis symbolizes larger themes such as evil, tyranny, chaos, or the forces of darkness.
5. Resisting Change: The nemesis is typically resistant to change and may actively oppose the hero’s journey.
6. Climactic Confrontation: The final showdown between the hero and the nemesis represents the ultimate test of the hero’s abilities and growth.
We all know Spiderman’s story. He gets bitten by a radioactive spider, his Uncle Ben is killed, he seeks revenge. He’s the hero.
In Spiderman 3, Harry Osborne’s father is killed (inadvertently) by Spiderman. Henry finds his dad’s cool suit that gives him powers. He seeks revenge. He’s the bad guy.
Where you sit determines what you see.
It’s important to remember that we are all the heroes of our own story. Your nemesis probably looks at you as the bad guy. Of course there are some people who are truly evil, but they are rare.
Just as the Mentor can take the negative form of the savior, the Nemesis can take the positive form of the challenger, pushing you to achieve greater things and bringing out the best in you.
And, viewing your nemesis as a challenger makes it harder for you to view yourself as a victim.
It’s your story. Be the hero.
Read. The Writing Shed with
This is one of the first Substacks I subscribed to when I joined. In this issue, Tommy examines the difference between remixing and remastering.
In the last chapter of my forthcoming book, Tough Rugged Bastards, I tell the story of one of the other team leaders in Detachment One that I didn’t get along with. We didn't like each other, but I did respect him. We were unwittingly pushing each other to be better. Almost twenty years later, we discussed our reasons for disliking each other. The reasons were completely different and absolutely stupid.
Your journal prompt this week is to think back to a former nemesis. Someone who stood in your way for a promotion or a starting position or prevented you from getting a date with the person of your dreams. Journal about the reasons they might have had for standing in your way. You will probably discover that their actions were in their own best interest, not out of malice for you.
“What would have become of Hercules do you think if there had been no lion, hydra, stag, or boar – and no savage criminals to rid the world of? What would he have done in the absence of such challenges? Obviously, he would have just rolled over in bed and gone back to sleep. So, by snoring his life away in luxury and comfort he never would have developed into the mighty Hercules. And even if he had, what good would it have done him? What would have been the use of those arms, that physique, and that noble soul, without crises or conditions to stir into him action?” – Epictetus. Discourses
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