“Eliminate, therefore, any possible tendency to complain of conditions as they have been, or as they are, because it rests with you to change them and make them what you would like them to be.” -Haanel
I LOVE superhero stories. This probably isn’t a surprise since I already mentioned last week that I’m a bit of a nerd. As a kid I loved comic books and superhero cartoons. And, I’ll admit it, now that I’m all grown up I’m still a sucker for a good superhero movie. There’s just something about the story of an average guy or girl who becomes something amazing… something exceptional.
One of the greatest parts of every superhero’s story, though, is that moment… It’s not their powers. It’s not their nemesis. It’s not even their mission. It’s that moment when they come to grips with what they are capable of. I love that moment of transformation. That moment where the mindset finally embraces potential and destiny. Some budding heroes find this moment on their own while others have somebody else to point them onto the path. Whatever the case, powers aside, THAT is the moment when a hero is born.
One of these powerful moments is in the Spiderman story. Now to a nerd like me it would be unthinkable that anybody could not know this story… Just in case, though, let’s review…
Peter Parker is a stereotypical nerd. One day while in a laboratory Peter was bitten by a radioactive, mutant spider. Somehow this transferred spider-like super powers to Peter (let’s not get too strict on the science here) so that he became strong, agile and could jump, climb walls and shoot web from his wrists. He even had a “spidey sense” that would tingle when something was about to happen. Pretty handy if you ask me…
So what does Peter do with his powers? He’s a teenager… what do you expect? He tries to become popular, tries to make some easy money and tries to get the girl he has a crush on. Certainly nothing heroic. Then tragedy befalls our hero. His Uncle Ben is killed in a crime that Peter had the power to stop but didn’t. As his uncle dies he whispers to him,
“Peter, with great power comes great responsibility.”
And a hush falls over the crowd… Whoa… Inspiring, right? And it was just what this super-powered teenager needed to hear to help him find his path and his purpose.
This is fine for a superhero but what’s this got to do with me? Well, how is it any different? Am I not powerful? Can I not teach a child? Create? Have a life-changing impact on another person? Inspire?
I am powerful. So are you. We all are. And with that power comes the great responsibility of deciding what we will do with it. We can hide from it. We can toy with it. We can even lock it away and follow the crowd or somebody else’s mediocre plan for our lives… Or we can step out in faith and each be a hero in our own life. We can accept that it was our own power, through our beliefs, choices and habits, that created our current reality and, as such, we can use that same power to change that reality in whatever ways we see fit. Great power. Great responsibility. The choice lies there in front of you and in front of me…
It’s that moment when we come to grips with what we are capable of. I love that moment of transformation. That moment where the mindset finally embraces potential and destiny.
How about you? Is your spidey-sense tingling?