Superman was as fast as a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive. Wonder Woman had superhuman strength and agility. Aquaman could manipulate the weather and had telepathic control of all aquatic life. There have been countless superheroes with so many different amazing superpowers throughout time, but what did most of them have in common? They all resembled the average human being.
They were able to blend in and live among us freely. They lived our lifestyles and some even adapted to our cultures. Many had full-time jobs, families to take care of, and serious relationships. Spider-Man was a freelance photographer for the Daily Bugle who took care of his Aunt and was in love with Mary Jane. Superman was a reporter for a metropolitan newspaper and was in love with Lois Lane. Batman was a business executive. The Hulk was a physicist. Wonder Woman was a nurse. Green Lantern was a test pilot and the list goes on.
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Holding the weight of the world and having so much responsibility thrown at them teaches hero’s a lot of lessons. It builds knowledge in ways that a book can’t teach. Those experiences give the hero different perspectives of life and insight that they can utilize to help others throughout their regular daily routines. Think about it. Surviving a fight with a villain that was trying to destroy the entire galaxy makes it pretty easy to calm somebody who got fired from a job or is overwhelmed with an extended to-do list that must be done before they go on a family vacation.
Overcoming the regular struggles that average people deal with, as well as overcoming obstacles that nobody could even imagine takes training to a whole different level. Most heroes work on themselves constantly so that they can be strong enough, both mentally and physically, to beat their foes. That self-awareness helps them understand what makes them tick. What makes them happy? What makes them sad? What are obstacles that they have a hard time with as well as the ones they can overcome easily? What did they learn from this experience and how can they incorporate it with future battles?
From what we see in comic books and on the big screen, they seem happy. Even Batman turns his hard, stone-cold glare into a smile sometimes, but what is their reality? Are the gifts they have also a curse in disguise? Children alter their voices and tie sheets around their necks while running around the house, imagining themselves as their favorite superhero. Flash was mine and I can still hear myself saying “VROOM” as I raced the clock and eventually time traveled, but what don’t we see?
We don’t see that, although the world loves them and they have billions of people screaming their names in celebration, taking pictures when they fly by, and wanting to be around them, they are completely alone. Alien, in a sense. They are able to have conversations but they arent able to ever open up and express themselves. What about when times get hard and they need somebody to vent to. Even if their identity was known, how can you honestly feel seen and heard and a part of a crowd when nobody understands you? When your strength surpasses any living creature. When your experiences have taught you things that when talking to somebody, its like a college student venting expressing the trials of rocket science to a middle schooler.
What do you do when nobody understands the language you speak? Not in a literal sense, but in an understanding sense. Having to constantly feeling the need explain only to get frustrated because you cant find the words that get the people around you to understand. Eventually, wouldn’t you just stop talking?
The heroes torturous demise is because they have a responsibility to do. A purpose that nobody knows of and nobody will understand. The hero isn’t able to run away because their entire being is in their DNA and even if they quit, their calling would keep them craving to return. Like a candle flame. The candle doesn’t want to be alone but its entire existence will only be if its surrounded by darkness.
Who are the heroes in your life? Is it your mom, dad, sibling, co-worker, neighbor or the stranger you walk past on the sidewalk? You don’t know who the heroes are and even if you did know, you would only be able to understand what YOU can comprehend. Because of that, treat people with love. Treat people with compassion. Have patience when people are having bad days. You don’t know if that bad day is due to frustration from not being heard and feeling a part of their societal group.
Yes of course, there are villains and not all “bad days” are due from frustrations of saving the world but still treat with kindness. Respond with grace. You may not know who the heroes are and reacting and treating people the way that they treat you or others will NEVER solve a problem. Treating people with love gives the opportunity for others to see a new perspective of how to be. Who knows, maybe you are the light that can heal the darkness. Maybe you are the hero and if so, I thank you. You are heard.