The ‘Hero Forge’ project is, first and foremost, a call to action. For too long we have outsourced our heroic imagination; graphic novels, movies and the press have celebrated heroes as extraordinary beings, rather than everyday people who perform extraordinary deeds. Such narratives are certainly entertaining and this isn’t anything new; our ancestors sat around camp fires in the fading light, telling the same tales to their children, but the world is changing.
We live in unprecedented and accelerating times. There are more of us than ever before, pressed closer together, and our impact on each other and the planet has caused many to fall into despair. Fear and uncertainty have led some to embrace polarising beliefs; political and religious extremism is on the rise and apathy and denial have become the order of the day. But, when nothing is certain, anything is possible and there are small groups of people, all over the world, who are coming together in an effort to change the world for the better, one choice at a time.
Everyday heroes have no mask or cape, no superpower and no nemesis. We choose to live by a code founded on faith in the future, and in one another. We do what we can, wherever and whenever we can to alleviate the suffering of others, and to plant seeds of hope for tomorrow. Our approach is one of utility; good intentions mean nothing unless they are followed by practical action.
Here you will find a rich vein of materials, designed to inspire and empower you to join us on our journey. There are articles, interviews and other resources which you can use to explore your own heroic potential and then turn that vision into a reality. The path we are walking will not be an easy one and we might wish that we had been born to a time and place with fewer challenges but, as Tolkien reminds us 'all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us'. We very much hope you will answer the call - there is much to be done.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing."
Who is Andy Fisher?
Andy is the founder of the ‘Hero Forge' project and is the author of a book by the same name. He delivers talks, workshops and training for how we can develop the virtues and attributes needed to become everyday heroes, and he does his best to walk his talk!
Making his primary living as a secondary school teacher, Andy works with young people between the ages of 11 and 18 on the east coast of England. He chose to be a professional educator because he says it offers a vehicle through which he can engage future generations with their own heroic potential.
Growing up in a military family, Andy developed a sense of adventure which has informed his life ever since; he has travelled widely, has worked as a circus performer in Malaysia, a nightclub bouncer and a close protection officer among other things, but he insists that teaching remains the most challenging vocation he has experienced to date!
When not wrestling with piles of marking and mountains of lesson plans, or swashbuckling with his young son, he runs obstacle course races, practices parkour and is a martial artist. Andy is a qualified wilderness survival instructor, teaches mindfulness and competes internationally in precision knife throwing tournaments. While wary of labels, Andy's approach to life is perhaps best described as a Stoic-Taoist-Jedi mash up!
Andy wrote ‘The Hero Forge', a practical guide to developing the mindset and attributes of everyday heroism, in order to clarify his own thoughts on what it means to live a purpose-driven life. He argues that heroism is rarely a reflex, but is rather a choice which is available to all of us, in any given moment.
No mask or cape required!
In a Nutshell
The 'Hero Forge' project is founded upon a particular code and way of life. However, there are as many flavours of heroism as there are heroes; by reading the articles and listening to the interviews and conversations on this site, you’ll come to appreciate the full spectrum: there is room for us all! While we would encourage you to dive into the material elsewhere on this site to get a clearer sense of the journey of the everyday hero, in a nutshell, this is what we believe and stand for:
- Heroes are not born; they are made.
- Anyone can be a hero- there are no barriers to entry.
- The hero’s journey is not only good for the world at large; it can enrich and add value to the life of the hero at the same time.
- Heroes need no special training to make a difference, but are most likely to be effective if they have optimised their physical, mental and emotional skills and resilience.
- No act of service is too small; we have no idea of the impact and reach of our actions. The smallest kindness might save a life and no one is keeping score anyway!
- Heroes are present, connected, courageous and sovereign beings.
- Heroes are fallible and subject to all of the flaws and weaknesses that the rest of us are afflicted by. They stumble and they fall, but they get up and keep going anyway.
- Heroes acknowledge their mortality and choose to commit some of their remaining time and energy to alleviate the suffering of others, and to leave the world a better place for future generations. In this sense, heroes presents an unapologetic middle finger to the forces of entropy.