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When the Boon is Rejected: Maintain Authenticity and Caution Against Assimilation

The reoccurring storyline tells the tale of the hero who awakens one day to the call of adventure.  More than an invitation, it is closer in power to a Siren’s song without — necessarily the classic torn sails, broken mast, and floating splinters.

His rational mind and his emotional being play tug-of-war but, in the end, as often is the case, personal emotion trumps collective reason.  He goes in search of the grail knowing that, as Joseph Campbell reminds us, there is no security and there are no rules.

On the journey, our hero encounters tests, allies and enemies.  And, with the aid of a wise mentor, and a writer who knows what Hollywood wants, he conquers all adversity, captures the flag, and sets off back to the village (perhaps even with the once-deadly-but-now-tamed Siren) to share the boon, the prize, the newly found wisdom.

All live happily ever after.

Fade to black…

Okay.  Fine.  But, there are times when the boon, the prize, the newly found wisdom is rejected.  No matter the treasure, it is still disruptive in a world that knows not, or little, of its existence or value.  Truth and authenticity are threatening in a world of shifting facade.  What you may view as “The Answer” may well be viewed by others — particularly those in control — as the newest problem to be dealt with, swiftly.

When you are the hero and this  happens to you, you have a few options.

  • Grab Your Booty and Run (all meanings apply) – Resolve that they are fools not worthy of your treasure.  Saddle up for new horizons confident in the delusion that others elsewhere will readily value what you have to offer.
  • Spin & Re-Purpose The Treasure to Meet the Needs of the Village Elders – With this option, you have tempered your optimism and water-downed the strength of your beliefs.  You have compromised values, ethics, morals, and sensibilities in exchange for acceptance and security.  You have both created and assimilated into an unauthentic system.  Shame on you.
  • Slow Down and Allow Others to Catch Up – Kaizen. Without compromise or dilution, break the treasure down into manageable bite size pieces and strategically introduce value to those in a position to eventually harvest and distribute the full treasure.

Note: If you have ever experienced a situation, group, or culture that you initially considered (sensed or thought) was wrong, odd, or dangerous only to gradually view that same situation, group, or culture as normal and desirable, caution…you have assimilated.


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