ByJoshua Flannagan, writer at
Confidence over competence
Joshua Flannagan

Throughout history, orators, authors, playwrights, and anybody with a pen have been telling stories of great and powerful men and women doing fantastical things that earned them praise and laudations. The stories of these men and women have transcended generation after generation and age after age and are still relevant to life today, because what is the world without a hero?

Alright, fine, I grant you that, in the real, boring, sans-superhero world, we don't have a Superman flying around to catch a fast approaching meteorite, or a Green Lantern to stop space crime before it even affects Earth, or even a Captain America to punch Hitler in the face!

Cap punching Hitler
Cap punching Hitler

This may seem silly now, but can you imagine a better image than the most hated man in the world getting punched in the face by a superhero that exudes America? Topical, meaningful, and informative! Unfortunately, we didn't have a Captain America to thump Hitler right in the mustache (though most people probably wanted to) so brave soldiers had to do it. That is to say, they metaphorically socked him! Point being, we don't have the luxury of a Wonder Woman or Spiderman or Wolverine but we've got real men and women putting their own lives on the line for their country and the betterment of their fellow man. No, we do not have people that can fly or run at super speeds. We don't have superheroes. But in their stead, we get men and women that band together to try and fill those fictitious shoes. Soldiers, fire fighters, police officers, and countless others are our heroes.

Ok, to bring this back around and answer the eponymous question, superheroes are important because they inspire good and, moreover, they inspire heroism. A quality that we all posses. When people reach there heroism, they attain it in moments of necessity. Three men on a train stop a terrorist from setting off an explosive, a young man sacrifices himself to save his sister, a woman fights off a violent burglar to save her children, and the list goes on and on. We don't need superheroes because each of us is capable of heroism. We are the superheroes for moments at a time. And from where do we think that inspiration comes? That's right, superheroes!

A regular guy walking down the street sees a man take a woman's purse. Now, of course he knows he's not going to shoot webs out of wrist at the purse and sling it back to her, but maybe he can catch the thief! Maybe he can a make a small difference in that woman's life and aid in keeping her day from falling apart. Superheroes are not beings to which we should compare ourselves, they are meant for inspiration. They are meant to tell the world that good does exist. If Barry Allen, an average forensic scientist, can be a superhero why can't I?! Obviously I don't have super speed and I'll probably never really be able to pull of that much spandex, but can't I make a difference? Can't we all make a difference? I, personally, don't see why not.

To wrap this up, I'd like to make one final point: superheroes are role models. Most, anyway. Superheroes are the perfection for which we strive, but shall not reach. Which is good. We don't need to be perfect to be. Perfection is ruined by expectation. But, when we are together as people and a team, where we are not perfect, perfection errs. So go! Be free, be kind, make a difference today and be somebody's hero!


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