The world is a very strange place. Our role models are usually people we have never known in person. And, most of the time, the superhero we want to be is not even a real person, but the figment of a cartoonist or scriptwriter’s imagination.
Why does your kid wish to be Wonder Woman and not you? Think about it. You wake up in the morning to go to work, no matter how terrible you feel. You juggle twenty different tasks at one time. You work extremely hard but you still remember to pay attention to family and friends. Name one superhero that actually made time for his family or even had a group of sincere friends?
I remember when my son was desperately eager to be Spiderman. It was an adorable phase but today I look back and wonder what made Spiderman cooler than me. A mother saves her kid’s life on a weekly basis, if not daily. From making sure they don’t slip down the stairs to ensuring every electrical socket is childproof, to sterilising the whole household numerous times a day — a mother’s work is never done.
What about the parents who work all day, come rain or shine? Who pays all the bills, plans vacations, buys groceries, remembers PTAs and makes sure the homework and incomplete classwork is almost always done. Doesn’t that sound like somebody worth admiring? You don’t need to be super to be a hero. You can just be you. We have been conditioned our entire lives to look for a hero outside of our homes. But who says you cannot be your own hero? There are plenty of situations where unconsciously, we save ourselves and the people we love every day, yet when is the last time you congratulated yourself on your achievements or the fact that you’ve managed to survive life up to this point?
What is the definition of a hero? Someone who meets tough challenges and overcomes them. Someone who never ever quits! These challenges are the opportunities they use to push themselves beyond what seems humanly possible. The thing is why should you desire to be like some fictitious hero when the real superhero is, in actuality, you? It’s time you started patting yourself on the back for a job well done.
You need to become the change you want to see in your life. I recently got a text from someone saying, “There is a superhero inside you; you just need to have the courage to put the cape on.” For once, it didn’t feel like a senseless forwarded message, but an opportunity to wake up and take charge.
We need to stop waiting for life to happen to us. No one is going to come and save anyone; that just happens in the movies. You have to take control of your own life. The first step to doing so, is to take action. Bad job situation? Send your resume out and resign from the current dead-end situation. New things are frightening and they take time. Just don’t give up. You need to be consistent and, of course, be brave. It might all appear terrifying, but it’s the path to a better future. Finally, while you should definitely take risks, you should also choose wisely.
The trick is to commit to creating a better world for others and yourself. Nothing comes out of nothing. There is nothing stopping you from emulating the actions and courage of the superhero you so admire. Do that and you will become the hero of your own life. Do that and you will become the real life superhero that your kids or siblings will never grow out of admiring. Choose to make a change. As scary as it seems, choose to be your own hero.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2016.
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