It’s time to turn back the clock to high school literature class, because I’m about to tell you a story from the Odyssey.
(Don’t worry. My version is waaaay shorter…)
Before we get to Odysseus tricking the Cyclops, resisting the Sirens, and bursting home to ravage the suitors and… enjoy his wife, there’s another hero:
His son, Telemachos.
But Telemachos doesn’t start out like a hero.
He mopes around at home while a horde of piggish men gobble up his dad’s food, guzzle down his dad’s wine, and make daily passes on his mom.
The gods know that something’s gotta give, so Athena flits down, disguises herself as ‘Mentor,’ and tells Telemachos off:
“You should not go on clinging to your childhood. You are no longer of an age to do that.”
Her words, through harsh, fill his heart with courage, and he feels “fathered” by her.
By my observations, I think that one of the struggles of adulthood is not having authority figures to give us the harsh but encouraging words we need to press forward and make a change.
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