If you have been following my blog for any amount of time, you will know that I love a great photo. A great photographer captures something in that photo that allows it’s viewer to experience something through the photo. Grief. Joy. Peace. Haunting. Something gets triggered when we view images. (This is why it is important to guard our hearts and minds… images are so powerful!) So… when I came across an article about photographer Josh Rossi, I was impressed with his work… not just because he is a super photographer, but because of the feelings he leaves behind his work. If you clicked through and read his story, Josh Rossi is a full time photographer who has developed a few projects for some super kids. The article I first discovered was about his justice league project — using sick kids. Many of these kids faced lifelong or terminal illnesses and he wanted to create a project that gave them power… the power of a superhero! His recent images features kids passionate about stopping the bullying issue. His images portray the children as the true super heroes they are. Strong, courageous and willing to fight.
So I began to muse again… what constitutes a “superhero”? Why the fascination? Why do we long for superheros and stories of power and strength? They have been around for decades… and the fad continues as Marvel, DC and even Disney want to cash in on our cravings for the ultimate “saviour”.
According to quora.com, Superman’s appearance in 1938, is considered by many as the first “superhero”. The man of steel. Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings… Well… you get the picture… The debate among comic book enthusiasts is whether characters like John Carter (1911) or Tarzan (1912) were the true start of our superhero quest or was Superman the first? Which is better? DC or Marvel? No matter when the first comic hero was hailed, the result carries through to our recent creations… Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Justice League and the like. Heck, even the Lego Movie’s, Emmet, can be awarded superhero status if we consider the definition as follows: a superhero is a character that has special powers that are used for fighting evil or helping people. The definition has been expanded to include persons who’s character, through their actions/achievements are far greater than what people expect. Mamoudou Gassama, the immigrant who scaled the four story building to save a four year old child is being hailed as a superhero. Father’s day has just passed. Perhaps your dad is your superhero — the one who saves you when the rent is due, or was able to fix everything when the car was dying, or seemed like the strong, stable one in your life. Maybe it was your wonder woman mom who yielded the truth out of you every time with her lasso of truth (or her penetrating laser-eyed stare)! I think we simply have a need somewhere deep in our souls that crave a hero. I also think we were meant to be one for others.
I am convinced that we were created to fight against the evil in this world… to stand for truth and justice and to defeat the villainous notions that creep in to our society. The hard part is deciding what side to stand on. Moralities are easily swayed by time and the voice of a few vocal radicals. Many areas are “grey”. The next generation is growing up in a world where absolute truths are nonexistent. There are very few black and whites left. Society oscillates on the pendulum of good and evil almost daily. Each of us have our own personal kryptonites. And yet, we are told that we are “…more than conquerors…” (Romans 8) and when we pray and ask and seek … we have the power to move mountains!
That is strength, people! Supernatural, superhuman strength! So why do so many of us feel defeated? Do we not have enough faith? Do we let our own insecurities get in the way? Why have the Incredibles all gone back to leading mild mannered lives? Hung up our super suits for life as boring insurance brokers? Perhaps we simply have to take the first step. To be willing to stop the pendulum swing. To declare that atrocities must stop.
Henceforth, my fellow warriors… I hereby challenge you to take up your swords and shields of faith to follow me as I join you in the battle against injustices! We must truly study as well-informed sages, to follow the leads of good, wise and patient masters, to test our skills and practice and improve upon our weaknesses. So that when the enemy approaches, we can stand against the wicked schemes and fight as super heros. To be hailed as one who’s actions and achievements are far greater than what others expect. It will not be easy. It may involve blood, sweat and tears. It might mean facing fears. It will certainly be difficult. Yet, when our photograph is taken at the end of the battle and stuck up on the refrigerator for others to see, will you and I be hailed as a heros? I trust we will be able to wear our badges of honour with pride, and know that within our small circles of influences, we were able to stand tall, to be strong and courageous, and to make a difference in our world. Now go do it.