“Superheroes were born in the minds of people desperate to be rescued.” ― Jodi Picoult
I love superheroes. I mean, who doesn’t? We’ve all grown up fantasizing about being one whilst growing up: watching movies and reading about these legends who are blessed with seemingly limitless powers and superhuman abilities to scale walls, bend metal, soar like an eagle and be the nemesis of the biggest and baddest villains.
We choose to not reflect on the fact that these characters are fictitious - although we know the reality fully well. We do so because superhero stories give us a respite from the drudgery of everyday living, and help us cling to the belief that good eventually triumphs over evil.
Yet, I wonder if it is just their powers that attract us, although at first, this seems to be the only drawcard. Maybe there is something more to superheroes that does not let us grow out of them, no matter how old we are. Is it because we relate to their human attributes and their frailties just as much as we relate to their ability to conquer evil and save the day?
Every superhero, whether he was born with special powers, or whether he acquired it by pure chance or a freak accident, has one thing in common - they have all experienced some sort of life-changing experience in the course of their journey towards becoming superhuman. Fear, sadness, anger, desperation, and love - emotions that have crippled their resolve and brought them to their knees on several occasions, and it is this pain and suffering that they have endured as mortals that serve as a common bond with each one of us.
The superhero then does the most remarkable and praiseworthy thing: he tempers his emotions, rises above his circumstances, and dons the mantle of a demigod to serve and protect all that is good in his life, and this world - something that most of us struggle to do when we face our own challenges!
These heroes reflect another universal truth - the existence of the yin and the yang forces and the subtle balance between them. Superman would just be a superhuman with a cape if not for the evil Lex Luthor and his desire to destroy; Batman would just be an eccentric recluse if not for the Joker and his murderous intentions; Wolverine would never have joined the X-Men league if not for his evil counterpart Sabretooth.
We all have our challenges in life and we all have moments when we feel that all hope is lost. But in those darkest moments, we also face a choice - to rise up and face the adversity head-on, to overcome our fears and press on, and to stand up and fight for what is right.
Don’t be afraid to do the right thing every single time. Reflect upon the virtues of your superhero and very soon you will realise that you do not need a cape or a mask to save the day!
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“Light can devour the darkness but darkness cannot consume the light.” ― Ken Poirot
When life knocks you down or when you feel overwhelmed by circumstances beyond your control, will you dare to take charge of the situation and give it all you have to turn things around?