All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
– William Shakespeare from “As You Like It”
As a hero in your own story, you are aware of your role. You’re the centre of the story, you’re in every scene. All actions are by you or done to you. However, you also play roles in the stories of the people around you. You come in and out of their stories, just as they come in and out of yours. Those entrances and exits often see the same people performing different roles.
One weekend in June I spent an evening with four men who shaped my story over a decade ago. I had just embarked on the biggest journey of my life and they were there as guardians of the threshold. They showed me wrong from right, they led me down paths I might not have seen without them. Now we are all twelve years older and roles have subtley changed. I still feel like the little brother, eager to learn more, but I’m also an expert now, with some things to share with my heroes.
Think about the role you play in other’s stories. Being more deliberate about it and aware of it can make your relationships much more powerful.