Chapter 1 of 4: Once a hero accepts his or her call to adventure, the time comes when he or she will have to cross the first threshold. Listen to this story about sixth-grader Jackie. Jackie will find that crossing that first threshold is not an easy process to go through as there are sometimes subtle and not-so-subtle enemies or threshold guardians trying to keep her from being successful. Fortunately, Jackie also finds that the Ancient One and possible others serve as allies who will help her to cross that first threshold successfully.
Hero’s Journey story: Little Jackie crosses the first threshold
© 2001 by Debbie Dunn
Chapter 1: Angela borrows paper from Jackie
Jackie just couldn’t get that school dance off her mind. Being dissed by Suzy had really hurt her feelings plus her sense of pride. Jackie wanted so much to be neither victim nor martyr. Jackie thought, “I think it will be easier to not be a martyr than to not be a victim. After all, all I have to do is say no to loans unless I know I’ll feel good about it regardless of whether or not I get paid back.”
Jackie thought about the other day with her trusted friend, Angela. Angela had said, “Oh, no, Jackie! I really messed up! I forgot to tell Mom I was all out of paper when she went shopping last night. Now I’m gonna get a demerit for not having all my supplies.” Angela looked at Jackie with a helpless look on her face.
Jackie recognized that look. It was that feeling-like-a-victim look that she had seen on her own face when she looked at her reflection in the mirror of the girl’s bathroom after Suzy and the other girls had returned to the dance.
Jackie quickly weighed her options. Thinking to herself, Jackie thought, “The Ancient One said I’ll only feel like a martyr if I say yes to users. Well, Angela is not a user. She’ll either pay me back or do something else nice for me. I trust her. Besides, I have plenty of paper. So I’ll be master of my own life and also a bit of a hero. Yeah! I’ll do it.”
Then, Jackie turned to Angela and said, “Angela, I can loan you enough paper to get you through the day. How many sheets of paper do you think you’ll need?”
Angela’s expression changed to one of great relief. “Oh, thank you, Jackie! You’re the greatest! I think ten will do it.”
At the end of the day, Angela said, “Jackie, here’s three sheets back. I only needed seven. I’ll pay you the rest back tomorrow.” The next day, Angela did exactly that.
Teacher Says or Asks: In Jackie’s interaction with Angela, what kind of outcome did they have: LOSE-LOSE, WIN-LOSE, OR WIN-WIN?
Students Respond: (They had a WIN-WIN Outcome because Angela got paper when she needed it; plus, Jackie got paid back on time.)
- Click CHAPTER 2 to read the next chapter of the Little Jackie tale called “Little Jackie crosses the first threshold.”
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