I had a horrible time deciding on a post for today. Usually I have these finished way before time, and simply schedule the release date, but for some reason I really came up against some kind of block for a topic. I didn’t panic, well, not for long anyway. I knew the topic would come at some point today! ( I had hoped anyway.)
It hit me as I walked down to my classroom this morning after having watch 220 students gather of their own free will to have a praise and worship time in our Performing Arts Room. It hit me as I walked past the students outside and lining the hallways. Something that I tell my students everyday, is that there is something inside of them that the world desperately needs to see. Even more, there is something within them that the world needs to experience. This “something” is the best of them, that spark of the Divine that has been put there to cultivate the beauty of this world. The world needs heroes and heroines, not the super-powered ones, but the real life, flesh and blood heroes. One of my favorite songs is John Legend’s rendition of “If You’re Out There”. My favorite line in that entire song simply says,
“We don’t have to wait for destiny; we should be the change that we wanna see.”
So this is a call to action. We don’t live in Gotham, Metropolis, Central City, or Wakanda. Our villains are not Penguin, Joker, Two-Face, and Lex Luthor. We need heroes. My adulthood has shown me my willingness to thrust the mantle on others. I see clearly that is is easy for me to see the powers that others have to potentially affect change for society. What is not so easy to see; however, are the latent powers within myself. I can see my flaws, and to me they sit like a block of Kryptonite across my unfulfilled potential. I can tell my students that they are meant to play a greater tole in the world than even they can see right now. What I can’t tell them is that I don’t believe the same for myself. I can tell them that they are the hope of the world. I can’t tell them that I am as well. For some reason, the older we become, the more we look at our lives as closer to ending, when in reality, our powers only grow stronger as we age. Adulthood should bring about an insane display of us at the peak of our faculties, a people who are ready and willing to take on the many faces of evil and not shirk our responsibilities.
I know better. We know better. No matter how well we lie to ourselves, we know that in truth, our costumes are hiding in our closets. Our masks are stuffed so far down in our dresser drawers that it would take construction equipment to find them.
So this is a call to action. I am sounding the alarms. I am casting the beacon into skies all over the world. I am tapping our morse code and using HAM radios to reach the those who have not embraced technology. Here’s the deal: There is no excuse. Not any more. In the life of every comic book subject, there is a point when the hero has to embrace the fact that his or her life is no longer about themselves. They have to give up their own ideas for what it means to have a good life in order that the masses could have a great life. They made a choice based on a sense of personal responsibility, and while they could not pinpoint the reason why they were granted the powers they were, they know that it was not to get rich and life lavish lifestyles. We are gifted and talented. We are special. We are empowered and should be unleashed. We are varied in our makeups, but bound together by our community. Superman was based on us. Batman was based on us. Green Lantern was based on us. Black Panther was based on us. Wonder Woman was based on us. FireStar was based on us. The inspiration for these great comic book legends had to come from somewhere. US!!!! So the power is within us.
It is time for us to emerge from the shadows. It is time for us to forget the past mistakes, but not the lessons we have learned from them. It is time to embrace the beauty of our humanity, in that while we fall, we still rise continually from the ashes. It is time for us to don our masks and capes. Put on those tights, no matter how ridiculous the color or pattern. Pull on those gloves, lace up those boots, and get ready for a fight.
This is YOUR origin story. Own it.