The Moral Needles in our Compasses of Life

 In Arete, Wrestling

Trent reflects on the necessity of “giants” in our lives.

Usually when someone finds out that I am a professional wrestling fan, the first thing they will ask me is, “Why? You know it’s fake, right?”

My knee-jerk reaction is reply with a question of my own, “You go to church, right? Don’t you know it’s fake?”

And while that is always the first retort that runs through my head, it has yet to exit out of my mouth. The basic human need that some have for religion coincides with my affinity for professional wrestling.

You know it’s fake, right?

I just finished watching the HBO documentary Andre the Giant. While I write this, and the tears are still drying on my cheeks, I just wanted to share what David Shoemaker articulated at the end of the beautiful documentary.

“We’re a myth making people. That’s how we understand ourselves and the world around us. He’s not the only real person around whom mythology has grown. William Wallace, Vlad the Impaler, Davey Crocket: these are real people around whom these incredible mythologies grew over the years. Andre the Giant, is one of those people. He is at once a real human, but at the same time he’s a mythological figure.” – David Shoemaker

My hope is that we can respect all heroes that help us make sense of the world around us. These figures that act as the moral needles in our compasses of life are as legitimate as we are willing to believe in what their journeys teach.

So remember, our mythological heroes are as real as they need to be, whether they are still living or died 2,000 years ago.

If you liked this post, make sure to check out:

Terry Todd’s 1981 article for Sports Illustrated, “To The Giant Among Us.”

The graphic novel by Box Brown, ANDRE THE GIANT: Life and Legend.

And of course, the brilliant HBO documentary, Andre the Giant.

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