I hope I never get over a desire to jump into a phone booth and change into a Superman cape. Even at 52. The good news is that there aren’t many phone booths anymore. The bad news is that when I do see one, all rational thoughts pack their bags, leave the station, and I gaze longingly at the phone booth wondering if this is the day.
I grew up longing to be Superman. I liked Wonder Woman, but mainly drooled over her. Weekly, for thirty minutes per episode, Batman and Robin “POW’ed” and “BLAM’ed” the Joker and the Penguin into submission.
Our desire as a species to be superheroes hasn’t diminished; we’ve just become more refined. The technology of the Ironman costume is decidedly more sophisticated than the spandex of Clark Kent. Clark Kent could pull of Spandex. Most Wal-Mart shoppers can’t.
If I could spend the day being Superman:
- Feed everyone in the world- there’s plenty of food to go around, it just can’t get it there because of poor governments
- Make presidential elections a thing of dignity
- Hang sex traffickers upside down and slowly dip them in a pool of alligators
- Make drug dealers watch Mister Rogers Neighborhood until they swear on their mothers sainted graves to change their ways
- Make hospice workers have to leave the bedside of every terminal person because that person got healed
- Stop bullying; whether it’s the little kids on playground, high school jerks, or adults who have only developed shiftier methods as they age.
We want to stop bad things. We want bad guys in jail. We want to defend the weak. We want the wrong to be righted. We want life to be fair. It’s in our DNA.
At the core of my desire to be a superhero are two things:
- Desire to be in control – As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to us while we’re making other plans.” Life hits our best pitches foul or we get hit by the wild pitch we didn’t see coming. I want to be in control.
- Desire for life to be fair –I hated teaching my kids that life is just not fair. Responding to unfairness consumes a tremendous amount of emotional energy and time. I just want life to be fair.
Some folks want superhero powers because they want to be villains. Most of us want them so we can be saints. Superheroes exist because evil villains exists.
Which superhero or heroine would you be?