Our favorite superheroes and heroines were created to stimulate morals that were within us from birth riling up our senses of right! This is that feeling we get whenever we watch a movie like Captain America and we well up with excitement that fills every crevice of our being, as Rogers socks the Red Skull in his crimson cranium. As we flipped from page to page of our favorite weekly comic-books, our heroes inadvertently taught us things like stand for what’s right (particularly with our hands clenched, on our hips, with a chest puffed out), take responsibility, and never carelessly leave acid tanks laying about, I mean come on! Here are 10 virtues that these titans of morality may have taught us through their actions and I am not speaking of action packed punches here.
1. Use Powers for Good- What line did we grow up reciting from the pages of Spider-Man? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Now most likely none of us reading this are able to climb buildings or swing from webs across the New York skyline, but we all have individual abilities and if this tag line taught us anything it was to use our resources for the good of our community.
2. Service Others- No great Superhero is selfish! They have all made the choice to be selfless. Yes, it’s a choice because selflessness is not in our nature. We are for the most part looking out for numeral uno. We need to grow to realize that by blessing others we will bless ourselves. Mercenaries are lonely people, Deadpool will confirm this.
3. Wear your Underwear on the Outside- Yea, I wrote that right. And please read the rest of this before going to the grocery store in nothing but whitie tighties looking like Walter White. This means stand out! A cape, cowl, and symbol plated chest piece would make it pretty hard to avoid attention and become just another person in the crowd (unless you are at comic-con). Standing out requires confidence in your beliefs, virtues, and style!
4. Leave your Element- Aquaman goes on dry land! Believe me I have even read Justice League issues where he even goes to space. To create change, reach success, or even just enjoy life we must be willing to come out of our comfort zones.
5. Exercise…Self-Restraint- “No one has the right to kill. Not you, not Mxyzptlk, not Superman… especially not Superman.”- Superman. We must all have self-restraint and never become defined by our desires. Just because we can is never reason enough to act upon and do. Superman has the strength to kill every opponent that stands in his way, but he reveals to us countless times that he obtains more strength to hold back from desires and be moral in his ways. This in no way shows weakness, but on the contrary the exact and absolute opposite.
6. Take Initiative- Never wait for someone else to take a stand against an injustice or to take a stride forward. Sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for some other person to come up with the next big thing or change the world will always leave us behind, most likely still twiddling our thumbs only now with resentment in our veins because it was our idea and we never went for it. Go for it!!! Take initiative and be the lead builder.
7. Take Risks- I can recall going to the movie theaters to watch the first Spider-man movie (Toby Maguire will always be my Peter Parker) waiting impaitently to get through the previews to witness one of my favorite animated charters come to life. Peter gets bit by a radioactive spider, which always blew me away for the fact that a high school student gets munched on by a spider in a experimental science lab and he just lets it go even as this massive bite mark begins glowing on the back of his hand, uh Peter fill out an accident report! Not only was this behavior risky, but he later takes it a step further and decides to use this mysterious web shooting out of his wrists to test drive it and swing from building to building over traffic! I remember just thinking “Aww hell naaw”. Although, if he never took that risk he would have never been a hero and seen himself as a comicbook. Take that risk! So many times in life we miss out because we always envision it ending with us flat, splat, across the pavement, but who knows maybe we’ll hear a “thwip” and swing across a web and it all happened because we took that initial risk. What’s the worst that could happen? Other then becoming 2D on the corner of 43rd street.
8. Not for the Glory- The Earth rotates around the Sun! Last time I checked I did not discover anything orbiting around my waist. All our heroes have secret identities. This not only protects their loved ones and gives them the opportunity to live a civilian life, but also because they are not looking for a pat on their back for doing their civic duty. Never let fame, endorsements, money, praises be the driving force in life! If we do what we enjoy because it lends a helping hand to others or just for the simple fact that it is our passion then all those other things will be sure to follow. And if not, who cares, keep doing what your passionate about!
9. Go Down Swinging- Giving up is not an option! Losing is no reason to give up! Life is attacking us daily and if we just lay there we are sure to get beat down. Fight, never allow life to kill you without ever throwing a punch back! When Batman took on the Mutant Gang leader in the beginning of The Dark Knight Returns he gets beat…bad, but even though he was out manned, slower, and weaker then his younger opponent he never stopped. He threw a punch after everyone that he took. Every time we get knocked down stand back up. Every time we get socked in the nose shake it off and swing back. Stay on your toes, protect your jaw and rumble! The most inspiring part about Batmans loss is his recovery. He came back more prepared the next battle and he defeated the Mutant Gang leader and crushed him!
10. Fear Should Not Paralyze- Green Lantern man up! It’s just a yellow crayon (I hope he walked to school or at least had a white bus)! We all have fear and it is a natural emotion. It definitely has a purpose in our daily lives. It is a warning of danger and it will excite the fight or flight mode in a situation, but never let it freeze you. The more you face fear the less control it will have over you. Batman introduced Scarecrows fear serum into his system in small doses over years so that it would lose its potency over him. He learned how to handle fear, not avoid it. Fear is the last point on this list because if you allow it to paralyze you then it will directly effect most of the aforementioned points. Fear of standing up, standing out, leaving comfort zones, taking initiative, taking risks, and confrontation will all end in backing down and running. Don’t avoid fear. Don’t even ignore it, instead use it and learn to handle it like Batman did with Scarecrows fear serum and how Green Lantern finally used that yellow crayon.