Discover your Superpower
Musing over old comic books and superhero movies, I compared the powers of superheroes to everyday folks. Spider-Man swings from rooftop to rooftop, the Hulk can bend pure steel, and Wonder Woman stops bullets in mid-air with a golden lasso. It occurred to me that you don’t have to be in in a Marvel comic or Capcom film to have superpowers. We’re all born with a superpower, we just need to know how to employ it.
Each morning we suit up in our costume for the day. We play the role of hero or villain in our various affairs. Most of us don’t pull a silk mask over our face to veil our identity before hopping into the Batmobile to hit the commute to work. Exempt from the glamorous get-ups and groovy gadgets, we do play the hero in some part of every day.
I starting asking around to see what superpowers others behold. My girlfriend said, “I have the special ability to eat an unbelievable amount of food.” As true as that is (she doesn’t show it either) I believe her superpower is being present. She is so good as being 100 percent in the moment. Everyone loves her company and gravitates to her charisma.
My mom has the tremendous ability to listen and empathize with others. I know it is her superpower because I’ve seen countless people seek my mom’s advice. My father wields the staff of leadership. Whether at work or cooking dinner, everyone intuitively stands in attention looking to him for the next shot to be called. And my brother radiates virtue. One time he saw a guy broken down on the highway so he pulled over and helped push his car a mile to the exit ramp.
Other superpowers people mentioned were spending their time selflessly, detaching from negativity, being a super-mom, multi-tasking, organization, tenderness, consideration, making people laugh and having deep insight. And the most mighty power of all time is the smile. It has the power to turn someone’s day around. Fortunately, we all possess this superpower.
Characteristics of a superhero
When looking at all the greatest superheroes in our books and T.V. screens they all have one quality in common: They use their superpowers for the benefit of other people. Clark Kent doesn’t suit up so he can go out and make a million bucks. A superheroes’ actions are always to stop evil and restore harmony. It is our duty to identify our own super-ability and challenge ourselves to use it altruistically. Life doesn’t typically call your assistance for hostage rescuing, but rather making someone smile, telling a well-needed joke, or giving someone a helping hand.
The symbolism of costumes in superheroes represents the principle of anonymity. By avoiding the limelight, superheroes use their powers to serve rather than to receive recognition. Spider-Man spins his evil-doers in a web and leaves them for the police to discover, freeing him from paparazzis and contracts. Performing a deed for the sake of bettering others without constant thought of oneself is the ultimate form of service. And by living a super-powered life of service, one becomes joyous and free.
All superheroes have flaws. Batman lacks in social skills, Captain America is straight reckless and Daredevil suffers from depression. What makes superheroes realistic is that the biggest villain they face is themselves. Admitting our faults and overcoming our shortcomings is a battle for everyone, even superheroes. By looking at who we are, the good and bad, we can move towards who we want to be.
If your boss in the Green Goblin, it might not be the best idea to zip-tie him to his office chair and demand resignation. Instead, the choice remains to side-step negativity and input superpowers into any place where it can be received. For those super-villains in our lives, sometimes the only way to win the battle is to get out of their way. Evil usually ends up defeating itself. Being a superhero is tedious work and usually takes place in the trenches, not on the rooftops. Many fights may be lost but we must persevere, fighting for good.
We all have those daydreams of contending the anti-hero or drawing superhuman strength to overcome adversity. As adults, no matter how mature we become, it’s always exciting to swoop in at the last second for the rescue. The best part is seeing the the relief on the person's face who stood in danger’s shadow. The little superhero inside still lives and wants to break through the walls of being too “grown-up.”
Every morning, while you’re putting on your cape, don’t forget your superpower at the door.
What’s your superpower?