Last night, I watched The Avengers for the first time. Being the mother of small children, I rarely get to see movies in the theater that often. Being the comic book fan that I am, and the Avengers being one of my favorite titles/franchises, I've been looking forward to seeing this for a while. When the DH told me that the movie was being released on DVD this week, I drove around to multiple Targets to grab it (on Blu-ray, of course). Even then, once I had it, I didn't have time 'til Friday night to actually watch it.
Gotta say, it was worth the wait. I love me some heroes.
It's true. I love superheroes. And just your average heroes. And aspiring heroes. I love everyday, never-knew-they-had-it-in-them heroes. And I love those uncommon heroes - the one that change the world with their presence of mind and their strength of character and their giant, enormous hearts. People like Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and (our names here) .
I love it when characters like Tony Stark, who's just such an asshole so-many-times-over, shows himself to have unplumbed depths of strength, courage, and love. And yes, I know he's a fictional character, but still - if someone like that can strive beyond belief for an idea - be it freedom, or life, or justice, or respect, or goodness --
Well, imagine then, what any of us could be capable of. You know, minus all the crazy high-tech equipment, practically magical suit of armor, and Jarvis, our virtual assistant/butler/valet. Oh, and the enormous bank account. Probably shouldn't forget that...
When I was a child, I played at being a hero. I imagined I was Wonder Woman, or Princess Leia (who was pretty heroic in her own right) or Eowyn from Lord of the Rings. And when I was an adolescent, I dreamed about other types of heroics - being a Peace Corps volunteer, or the Secretary General of the U. N. (where I would broker world peace, of course), or even your run-of-the-mill humanitarian crisis worker.
As I got older, my perspective regarding heroes evolved again. And now, when I think of heroism, I think of people with vision who are bringing those visions to life, be they entrepreneurs or community organizers or artists or educators. I think of people who discern their vocations, whatever those might be, and who fearlessly step into and embody them. I think of my parents, who accomplished so much though they started with so little ($350 between the two of them and a dream of a new life in America). I think of our military men and women who put themselves between us and those who might wish us ill.
I think of ordinary people who when confronted with the choice of being loving or being fearful, choose to be loving, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Talk about heroic.
I'm not all that sure what a stripey top, bright red pants, and fun shoes have to do with being a hero...I've not once seen a single comic book superhero wearing an outfit like this. But hey - who's to say some future hero wouldn't?
Who are your heroes, living, dead, or fictional?