All stories take the form of a Quest. […] To understand the Quest form of your story, penetrate the psychology of your protagonist and find an honest answer to the question: “What does he or she want?”*
What does it mean to be human?**
Erich Fromm answers his question with a number of possibilities: Homo faber (the toolmaker); Homo sapiens (one who knows); Homo lumens (one who plays); Homo nagens (one who says “No”); and, Homo esperans (one who hopes).
I add Homo inventionibus: one who quests.
Even as we need to make tools, to seek knowledge, to play, to say “no” – and “yes,” we also need to quest.
We need to journey away from ourselves and to others, and then we shall know ourselves:
You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.^