Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman!
I was a comic book fiend as a child. I loved all the DC Comics heroes: Superman, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman... When you're a kid, the idea that you can fly, have super strength, move really fast, or just kick the bad guys tails was really intriguing.
I remember taking one of my mother's towels and securing it about my neck. Then, I had to run REALLY fast so that the heavy terry cloth would flap behind me like it did on the Superman television show I would watch at my granddad's house in Brady. Though Mama was pleased that I was running off all that extra energy, she worried that I was going to snag the towel on something and horrific injuries would result. She took my cape away and I became The Flash and Green Lantern, neither of whom had capes (an old Halloween mask cut down doubled as my mask to hide my secret identity).
Through the years, I loved watching the television series and movies about those same superheroes. When the technology of cinema became so advanced, you could go to the movies and truly believe that those brightly clad folks were flying, fighting and just being generally,,,, super! Not all of the movies and tv shows have been well done; but, to the ten-year-old inside of me, they confirmed just how much fun it would be to actually be a "Super."
As I've gotten older, I still enjoy watching the X-Men, or the Avengers, and like seeing the way that these powerful individuals, rather than using their powers for their own benefit, instead help we poor humans to overcome the evil creatures that always seem to be popping up in those exciting stories. The key, though, was that superheroes helped people. Hey, I could do that!
For years, I used my time as a Boy Scout to do good deeds. Scouts were charged with doing at least one good deed every day and I did my best to meet that demand. Some days I did pretty well, other days... well, I at least tried.
Once we become "adults," many of our good deeds become actions performed by committee or by donation. The committee option usually involves being part of a church or charitable organization that helps feed, clothe, house, etc... those who are less fortunate. The donation route is a bit more targeted, though still very impersonal, as we assuage our need to do good by making donations to the people or organizations that we hope will do good for us. Though both options are admirable, and do a great deal of good, they also both allow us to make an assumption that we are continuing to do our good deeds, saving us time from our own busy schedules, and allowing us to avoid those messy entanglements that can sometimes occur when we put ourselves out there as a participant in our good deeds.
But, we shouldn't stop looking for opportunities to continue performing acts of kindness and special attention. I was reminded of this recently when I had the opportunity to do something as simple as extending a hand to help someone down some steps. The lady in question suddenly lurched forward and the two of us performed a perfect two-step spin! For just one quick moment, I got to be a hero.
I see heroes almost every day. The young kid who chases down an item blown from a car in the supermarket parking lot. The people who pile out of their own vehicle to help the motorist in front of them push their car safely to the side of the road. The gentleman who discretely blocks the sidewalk as the young child escapes her mother's grasp and she speeds down the way. Heroes, all of them.
It doesn't take much to be a hero, and the feeling is great when you are. You won't get your name in the paper, and only a few folks will ever know what a great act you performed. But, you will know, and the person you helped will know.
You won't have to wear a mask to hide your secret identity, because there will be at least one person who knows who you are, and they will never forget you.
It’s all just my opinion.