Today, I want to talk about the first book of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring. I think we’re in a place where each of us has had something similar to Frodo thrust upon us. In the book, Gandalf basically says that we don’t ask for these hard times, but when they come, we have to deal with it. This comes up as Frodo is lamenting about how he has to bear this burden and fight to save the world. Even though he did nothing to deserve his fate, he has to take responsibility and go on this journey.
We need people to bear their burdens
And I think that as a culture, as a society, we have a lot of burdens that we have to face. This book offers a valuable lesson in what it takes to push back against evil. We’re at a time where there is a similar feeling as what you have in the beginning of the Lord of the Rings. There is something hanging over our heads, looming, and I think there is an eerie feeling about where we’re heading. What’s sad about this is it isn’t “our fault.” Rather, it’s something that’s been thrust upon us and we have to respond. So how do we do that? Like Dr. Jordan Peterson talks about, we have to take responsibility – even if we aren’t the cause of the suffering.
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So, Frodo decides to go on the adventure and to take responsibility for something that was thrust upon him. And, I think that’s what we need today. We need men ready to take up responsibility, even if it is for something we didn’t mess up. Instead of the childish, “He started it,” argument, we should be a society of doers. And I really like this book because it just is relatable to a child can who is coming of age, but I think a young man can as well. It is a call to take on what is thrust upon you and bear that burden. If you want to be inspired to do that, check out this book if you haven’t already. Below is a transcript for you to check out and see how Frodo takes responsibility.
Transcript of Take Responsibility and Bear Your Burden
How it starts
This starts with a birthday party being planned for Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo. He is helping out, and what you get a sense of is there’s something going on that this little area where the hobbits live the Shire is sort of isolated from and J.R.R. Tolkein tells you a little bit about who the hobbits are. So read the book because they’re very interesting. Funny people.
But it’s there’s sort of isolated from the world around them, and this leads them a little bit ignorant of the different things that are going on outside of the Shire. The and what they don’t realize is all these strange travelers that they see coming through. The Shire are people who are fleeing away from some danger that’s happening and arising out in the East. And so at some point, Bilbo decides it’s time for him to get away, and he disappears after his birthday party and goes off and takes one last track east. He is the focus of the Hobbit. Bilbo is, and so he leaves his inheritance to Frodo.
Yeah, and a little bit of time goes by and it comes to pass that more and more of these people are coming by. There’s more and more of a just uneasiness and a weird feeling about what’s going on. And so eventually Gandalf, the wizard that we all know and love comes and says Frodo. You need to go. Thio, we need to get out of here. You need to go to Rivendell. We need to figure out what to do with this ring because I found out some very, uh, interesting bad things about it.
And there are bad people in action and so Frodo picks up and start takes off, and I think that this is I mean, it’s your typical hero’s journey. But what I love about this is his reluctance, his his idea that, you know, I can’t be the one to do this. I’m not able to do this. I’ve I’ve never left the shire. Really? You know, I’m But he also had this calling a little bit and his example of Bilbo who just not that long. Well, not that long.
You know who before him took the same call when Gandalf suddenly stopped by with, like, 12 dwarves and brought him out to the Mount the Lonely Mountain. The idea here that there’s this insulated kind of ignorant of the workings of the world and the workings of evil really that are happening around them because they do have the good thing about the hobbits that allow them to be so great in these stories and to kind of ignore the rest of world. Is there so contented with their lives, and it’s not until they’re under siege that they would really take action.
When do we draw the line?
And I think that a lot of us are like that. I think a lot of us are not going to push back until it’s like, How am I going to feed my family? That’s the line that we draw in the sand, and I think we have to recognize that there is a time before that that you should. You shouldn’t wait till you’re backed into a corner. To fight. You need to be a little bit prudent and fight when it’s appropriate and fight when it’s called for. And luckily, in the case of Frodo and Bilbo, there’s people who come by and tell them, Hey, it’s time to get up and go and to push back and they answer that call right and eventually. So this is so that’s the very beginning of the book, not spoiling anything on def.
You haven’t read it. Maybe stop the podcast, go by through the link in the show notes and read it for yourself because or by the whole set. I’ll probably have that in here, too, and by the set and just read them because these are great books and you should. But then he goes on this winding journey on. It’s everything so new to him and everything for Frodo and his companions on the journey is novel and mysterious, and each time they’re in a bind. You see them get out of it some other way, and there’s people who come along and help them.
Fighting back when no one else will
And it’s a very similar journey to what we have to do if we want to push back against this overbearing culture. There are people you see like Rod Dreyer with the Benedict Option, and all of these people saying, Get away from society pulled back out of society. And there are people who are doing that. And there are people who are watching those people go by and leave society. But I think that we have to say no, I’m not gonna let the whole world in our whole society be conquered. Bye. Anti, Uh, religious secularism. All of these nihilism, materialism, all of these bad ideologies.
I don’t want to see my entire world be so come to these terrible ideologies I want to pick up, you know, my staff and go on the journey and find a way to push back. And the beautiful thing about the first book is Frodo is obviously just bumbling through everything. All of the people he’s with are just figuring it out. They don’t know what the hell they’re doing at all, and it makes you feel a little better because they find a way to get through it and to, you know, make it to the end of the first book where they are on their journey. They’ve covered a lot of ground, but they’ve really and they’ve had some trials and tribulations losses along the way.
Learning along the way
I don’t think I’m going to give you any spoilers, but at the end of the book, the end of the first book, there’s still much of the journey left to go. Obviously, it’s a three part series, so hence there’s a little bit of ways to go. But what I love about the first one is as they’re going through the shire, there’s this sense of each step along the way they get more and more outside of the world. They understand two more and more foreign types of things from talking trees and men who you know, very interesting. Weird, magical men to elves, to all sorts of different things that go awry. I mean the, you know, accidentally disappearing in front of a group of people. All sorts of silly things happen. Bad things that throw their journey off track.
And I think it’s reassuring to see, as you go through the books that he continues to mature. That’s what I see in the first book. So much is Frodo as a character in a very short amount of time matures and grows up a lot. He’s older because he’s like 50, but hobbits live a lot longer, so it’s really like he’s in his. He’s in his coming of age, is what it is. He really hasn’t made his mark on the world, and then he goes on this journey. He takes up this burden and he goes, and through that process, through the trials and tribulations, he learns a lot. And, I think each of us can learn from him is we might be a lot very naive right now. During his journey, Frodo learned to take responsibility more and more.
What can we learn about how to take responsibility?
But we can go out there and start to take part in the fight and push back against this culture. That’s what we have to do to take responsibility. That is antithetical to so much of what personally I believe. And I’m sure that many of you listening as well confined things in our culture that are what you would consider despicable. And so how do we go about pushing back against that? I think each of us has to say, I’m going to go on this journey. I’m going to fall and stumble and make mistakes, but I’m going to try it and that’s what I mean.
Just the entire time I’m reading the first book, I’m just relating to Frodo so much. I’m 25 years old, looking at solidifying my place in the world and understanding what my role is. And, you see a lot of that in him. You have to listen to the people who know more than you and take their advice to heart. And, figure out and learn who to trust and who not to trust and learn how to do that properly. Sometimes sometimes you’re forced into a corner and you have to trust somebody and hope that it works out. And so that’s why I think we ought to read it and check it out. So definitely buy it through the links that I have in my show notes. Let me know what you think about these book reviews.