Not too many of us are superheroes. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I haven’t met a superhero. So where does our fascination with these caped phenoms come from?
There’s some debate over the identity of the first super hero.
Mandrake the Magician, Superman, The Clock,The Phantom (personally, I’m going with Superman)
Someone suggested superheroes were born out of the Great Depression (1930’s) to a people who desperately wanted to be rescued. The heroes represented strength coming from adversity and embodied a person’s ability to effect the lives of others.
Of course, nailing down what defines a true superhero isn’t as easy as saying shazam!
They are not all human.
They don’t all have special powers.
They don’t all have some life-shaking event to introduce them to their super hero-ness.
And they aren’t even all good.
Some are brooding,
And a lot of them don’t have that “with great power comes great responsibility” thing down.
So what makes these heroes so special?
I do think there is one key element interwoven amongst all of these heroes—they do something. They are active. They touch the lives of other people (not always for good, but still they’re out there doing their thing).
And that’s where our commonness intersects with their “greatness”.
We become heroes when we do not sit idly by. WE become the hero when we give up our seat or return a shopping cart or write an encouraging note.
But let’s not stop with merely being active. Let’s take our superhero-ness on to an entirely new level. Below I’ve outlined some common traits of a superhero. You may be surprised to see just how close you are to achieving this kind of greatness.
Superhero Traits Your Traits
Strong moral character If you’re a Christian, this should be a given.
Sense of responsibility There can be no “that’s not my problem” thinking.
Backstory We’ve all got this—our story of how painful events have paved our way.
Headquarters This one may need some work. Be creative. This is where you go to recharge.
Enemies Our fight is not against flesh and blood.
Secret identity Anonymity. The person we give our seat to doesn’t need to know our name.
A distinctive costume Do you own a cape? I’ve got three. Everyone should have a cape.
( A note about capes: I know the dangers (I’ve seen the Incredibles), but the advantages far outweigh the negatives. If you’re wearing a cape, there’s no way you can get away with doing nothing. The cape gives us permission to rise above mediocrity and be more of who we have been created to be. The cape reminds us that we have another identity. The cape points to someone who is all-powerful, loving, and truly super.)
A friend of mine recently spent a week using her blog to warn people about hell. She didn’t sit idly by. She didn’t shrink back and ignore the need. She didn’t forget what she knows to be true. Instead, she stood up, called out, put on her cape and faced the enemy. To me, she’s a superhero. She’s not just “being”. She’s doing, and she’s “doing” because she loves people.
What is it you should be doing? Get your cape, and get busy!
(And soon we’ll look into possibilities for a League of some sort to be formed!)