In the hero’s journey we don’t focus on all the friends, family and companions that get hurt, killed or left behind. The hero prevails but does so at a major cost that’s almost always ignored in the story.
It’s even worse when the hero’s journey ends in failure. Shakespeare had it right. You know the difference between a Shakespearean comedy and tragedy? Some characters survive in the comedies…
I know there are many things that I would do differently if I didn’t have friends or family that depended on me to handle my responsibilities. There are risks that I would have no problem with if the only person affected was me. But that’s not my life, and it would be terribly, terribly selfish to take those risks without understanding and addressing all the other people involved.
Ours is a pretty ruthless and unforgiving society. There are many great, compassionate and caring individuals. But as a whole, that’s not the world we have built. If you need proof, just look at what we do to our heroes who fail.