Friday, June 30, 2006
He flies... we walk.
We just got home from seeing Superman Returns. I liked it. I wanted to really love it, but I liked it. It was like putting on an old cape. It fit well and it was comfortable, and sometimes comfortable is all you need to make you happy.
And I'm happy.
I'm not giving anything away here, but there's a scene in the movie where Superman stops a plane (not to mention Lois and assorted passengers) from smashing into a million pieces, and parks it in the middle of baseball stadium filled with cheering fans. There was scattered applause in the theatre as he did this and I started to reflect on that. I guess people need a hero. People want a hero. Someone who's motives are pure, who values fairness and who is dependable to a fault.
But who are our heroes today? Politicians? There isn't one in the entire lot who's even a quarter JFK, and it's no secret that he was far from perfect. Just ask Jackie... oh right... dead.
Athletes? Putting a big orange ball through a hole, or a puck in a net is about as heroic as falling down a well.
Movie stars? Rock stars? Religious leaders? Nope, nope, and uhhhhh no.
I often wonder how great it would be if Superman really existed. He'd fix things. He'd set everything right. He'd make sure bad things never happened to good people, and because he's a nice guy he'd even have compassion for the "bad guys".
But he doesn't exist. Well... maybe in a parallel universe, but I digress.
So where does that leave us? Do we sit and wait for a miracle, and hope that this perfect, fair, compassionate being shows up and bails us out? Do we chuck it all and turn our backs on the very concept of heroes because we've had our faith torn to shreds time and time again?
Well... I'd like to think that a little Superman exists in all of us. In fact I know it does because I've seen it first hand (you all know who you are you SuperFriends of mine).
We all have the capacity to be fair, to be compassionate, and to show great strength when others need us the most. The hardest part is having the courage to do those things. It's not always easy sticking your neck out to help others, and sometimes you may bite off more than you think you can chew.
But nothing can change if no effort is ever made?
Imagine what would happen in the world if we all showed a little more compassion, a little more tolerance, a little less selfishness. It's self-propagating. The good deeds beget good deeds and so on and so on.
Want to see an example of that in action? Stop and hold a door for someone behind you, 98 times out of a hundred that person will stop and hold the door for the person behind them... unfortunately Mr. 99 and Miss 100 are left to fend for themselves, but even Superman can't solve every problem.
Don't get me wrong.. I'm not calling anyone out here. I'm just as guilty of leaving my compassion at home and instead, carrying a big bag of expletives, which I freely and liberally toss at anyone who dares to bump me, cut me off or drive a Hummer (Actually I think even Superman would call a Hummer driver a stupid, selfish, egotisical asshole... with a micro-penis).
I wish one of my powers was being a better writer (My wife is the Super Writer). I think I get lost some times, and my point get's muddled, but I guess what I'm saying is don't wait for the hero to show up. Be the hero. The smallest heroic act could be the start of someting big.
And now... as I walk past the other side of 3:00 AM I think I've got to fly.