Forgive me now, all my nerdy and geeky friends…but I have never read a comic book. The only things I know about comic books are what I can gather from the slew of recent movies I’ve been dragged to in the last few years. Oh… and that my husband has several cartons full of them tucked away in our basement.
That being said, I look for inspiration in every story. Comic books are no exception. And in said genre, I was led to the story of Professor Charles Xavier, a superhero, best known, not for feats of strength or his ability to fly…but for being brilliant. That’s my kind of hero.
Like me and most of my friends, the professor was a nerdy kid. He survived abuse at the hands of his stepfather and watched his mother drown her sorrows with alcoholic beverages. He was bullied by an older step-brother. But he found an outlet in education, attending Ivy League schools and earning several degrees.
While Professor X and I don’t share ethnic or gender ties, there is a greater bond between us. You see, Dr. Charles Xavier’s greatest accomplishments were not his degrees, his fantastic orations, or even his super-human feats. The professors greatest accomplishments and his greatest desire are the same as mine…to recognize the gifts of others, and to call them to be their best selves.
At Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, he molded minds, teaching them to fight for good, to use their powers to make the world a better place. I try to do the same, with all my loved ones. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by “mutants”, my entire life. There were musical prodigies, mathematical geniuses, highly sensitive and the ultra-observant souls, and my favorites, those gifted in the language arts.
I always dreamed of a world where we embrace one another’s gifts. So, too, did Professor X. (And it doesn’t hurt that he is often portrayed by the same guy who plays Captain Jean-Luc Picard. (I mean, who doesn’t love that guy!)