One of the most important lessons that we can learn from superhero comics is the idea that we should be like Superman.
Superman is the purest distillation of what a superhero is: someone with abilities decides to use those abilities to help others.
Its not just about fighting crime, because Superman does a lot more than that. He saves towns from floods. He puts out fires. He catches airplanes. He destroys tenement housing to force the government to build brand new housing in its place. He destroys automobile factories in an attempt to promote auto safety.
Sometimes his methods aren’t the best way to tackle the situation, but he does try.
The point is that Superman uses his abilities to help everyone around him. He does not question whether they deserve it or if he should. He has an innate understanding that because he can, he should.
We are all capable of being Superman in some way or another. Because the point isn’t that he’s almost godlike in his strength and speed. The point is that he is able to do something that others cannot. And we all find ourselves in situations where we are stronger, more knowledgeable, have access to more resources, where we can DO something.
If we can help, we should help.
Because that’s how society gets better. That’s how everything gets better. Because we all say that when we see someone in pain, or in need, or struggling, we help.
And this does not diminish when the problem scales upward, if anything our responsibilities grow more when we stop thinking ourselves as individuals and we start thinking of ourselves as a country, a society.
We have so much money.
We have so much power.
We have so much to give.
And our initial response to refugees at our doorstep appears to label as them as enemies, to call them an army, to say they’re diseased, to say they’re rapists, to say they’re killers.
And those are the arguments of the villains. Those are the arguments of cowards. Those are the arguments of people so blinded by their own hate that they refuse to see anyone else’s pain.
We should be better than that. We are better than that. We should be stepping up and opening our doors and leading the way to a better, kinder, stronger world.
What we need to be is Superman.