My son is currently into Marvel superheroes and as a 34 year old I have recently re-discovered Top Trumps because of his new love. So many heroes I had forgotten about!!
I am realising it is an age old thing to love the concept of superheroes; something which seems to go beyond generational boundaries. What is it about superheroes we love so much? Certainly not the costumes as far as I’m concerned – no grown man should wear Y-fronts over leggings in any setting; in fact men in leggings in general should be a no-no as far as I’m concerned – apart from fancy dress parties of course!
I think the pull of the hero is the good v evil concept. We hate the villain and therefore we love the bringer of good, the one who sets rights wrongs, the usher-er in of justice.
We like good to triumph and evil to be paid it’s due.
And so we love the hero who brings about good.
Do you know what else I’ve noticed?
I’ve noticed in myself, and I wonder in others too, that I like to think of myself as a hero.
Not the leggings and over the top of pants – God forbid, that would be utterly terrifying. I mean, I like the idea of righting wrongs and ushering in good. I like justice to be served and those who have been hurt to feel that someone has their back, is in their corner.
Good stuff huh! Come on the good-guys!!! Whoop!
The only problem with this of course is that in assuming I am the ‘goodie’, I am naturally labelling someone else the ‘baddy’.
The person who disagrees with the way I would do it – BADDY!
The person who changed the thing I wouldn’t have – BADDY!
The person who hurt my friend or got the opportunity I didn’t or lives their life by a different set of rules – BAD GUY!!
How easy it is to label people as villains when you assume yourself the hero in any given scenario.
How easy to label someone evil when they make one mistake or do something which genuinely hurts you.
How easy to tar with a brush which marks in ways which are hard to remove.
I know in many areas of my life, but most prominently in church life, the villainisation of good people can ruin relationships, opportunities, reputations and much more.
One word from a hurt person can do incredible damage to another not-perfect, but certainly not-awful individual. It can cause irreparable damage. I’m sad to say I’ve been on the receiving end of it – one person with an agenda that doesn’t fit in with the opportunity you have been given can cause huge problems.
I’m sadder to say I know I have villainised others because they have done something which has hurt or upset me.
Whether you wear your pants on the inside of your leggings or not, no-one is all bad – any more than a person is all good. We are all capable of good and ill, lifting people or tearing them down.
I guess the challenge is to choose to see the good in everyone rather than just seeing the hero in ourselves and the villain in everyone else.
Do you feel the need to label as hero or villain?