Heroic Moment: Villains Await You; A Personal Conflict on the Path to Heroism

harvey dent two face dark knight

Now, before you go out in search of a maniacal mime, it is important to know the nature of villains, in particular what "villains" actually are. One of the best examples is the dichotomy of Batman and the Joker. Batman's origin is oft-chronicled, but the Joker's is less well known. In the same day, the Joker lost his job and his pregnant wife, participated in a bungled robbery attempt, and fell into a tank of toxic waste. A rough day by any standard.

The tragedy that befell Bruce Wayne compelled him to bring order to a chaotic existence; the Joker's "bad day" drove him to become the "lord of misrule", reveling in the tumult. In 2008's The Dark Knight, this duality plays out through Harvey Dent/Two-Face.

You see, the hero and the villain faced similar stimuli, but chose to respond in distinctive ways.

For some of us, our "villains" are people or obstacles who stand against us. They may be those that support the status quo when our principles and values demand change. They are external opponents. They may not be "evil," but they do stand in the way of positive change.

On the other hand, many villains are much more personal - they are our shadow selves. They are the part of us that doesn't want to get involved, is embarrassed or fearful, or has other things to do. Oftentimes, the internal obstacles can be more powerful and unrelenting than external opponents.

For Batman, the Joker represents the very worst that Wayne could have become if he had accepted the chaos and lawlessness of the status quo. Instead, he chose to fight, and by choosing to fight, became a hero.

The choice is yours. 

READ MORE: Be prepared to act with the "Speed of One," one of the six Heroic Arts.