Lessons I learned from my Dad (and other heroes)

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I revealed the fact that I was in fact a super-hero nerd in this post, this is a trait I got from my dad.  When I was little I was allowed to read the comic books that he bought when he was a kid, most of which were The Flash

and The Green Lantern.

We also spent many an afternoon watching the  animated X-Men series, and also Spiderman the animated series, (which was legitimately comparable to the comic book because it was also done by Stan Lee), and  I remember watching “Lois and Clark the New Adventures of Superman” when I was a mere five years old.  So, I opted to take my dad to see the new Green Lantern movie for father’s day.  The day set aside to celebrate dad, and the movie got me thinking about the lessons that my dad taught me, with the help of the superheroes I grew up with.

Everyone’s looking for a hero (or as dad would call it a Christ Figure).  Everybody needs someone to look up to, someone bigger than them and larger than life.  People want someone who is in control when they are not and can take care of them.  Even the seemingly fearless Lois Lane was only willing to fall into and out of and off of things because she knew that there was going to be someone there to catch her.
The other half of this lesson though, is that just because people need a hero doesn’t mean they always recognize this need, and their priorities become skewed.  So, when Spiderman saves 200 lives, but destroys an incredibly expensive building, suddenly all of New York is furious with him.  Everyone believes they would have been better off without their “hero”, and could’ve done it  on their own.  This lesson is twofold: 1. Sometimes the right choice isn’t the popular one, and 2. It’s always easy to decide that you could’ve done it all and done it better when you didn’t have to try.

Feeding your fear never makes the situation any better.  Often a superhero’s greatest moment of weakness is when he lets the enemy play on his fears: fear of failure, or death, or the dark.  Whatever it is, when the focus changes from what really matters to anxiety, nothing good happens.  In many ways my dad taught me this lesson by teaching me this:  Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Good wins in the end. When all hope is lost, a new corner is turned and it’s suddenly found again.  Just when the meteor is crashing towards the earth and Superman is being dragged along with it he suddenly gets one more burst of strength and pushes it hurtling back into space.  Just as Hal Jordan is about to be wiped off the face of the universe by some galactic enemy all the other Lanterns show up and the bad guy is defeated.  And three days after a rather ragtag group of individuals watched as the person they believed in was killed,  He came back to life (and that one actually happened).

Even the most heroic among us have their moments of conflict and doubt.  Just because they’re bold enough to wear spandex doesn’t mean they don’t have their moments of indecision.  Batman would be holding a bad guy over the side of a building and even though he knows he should take him in and turn him over to the police, he really wants to drop this hardened criminal over the side, but Bruce Wayne doesn’t let impulse or conflict win out.  In the end the right choice is made, despite the inner turmoil of the hero.  The doubts are not the problem, so much as what is done with them.

Finally…

Long winded monologues always end in disaster.  A bad guy’s downfall often comes when he stops his evil to tell the captured hero all about it, in excruciating detail.  So, in order to avoid this pitfall of super-villainy I’ll wrap this post up before it gets any longer.

Happy father’s day to one of my heroes!

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

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(http://supermanica.superman.nu/wiki/index.php/Lois_Lane)

The woman’s got a lot going for her.  For one she’s got a steady and exciting job.  She also dresses so sharply in those cute little reporter suits and pumps (and the hats, don’t even get me started on the hats.)  and, oh yeah, Superman’s in love with her.

Seriously though, I admire many qualities in the fictional Lois Lane.  So, I give you the five reasons that I want to be her when I grow up:

1. She’s brave, and although this bravery gets her into trouble on an exceedingly regular basis Superman’s always around to save her hide.  She doesn’t have any qualms about doing whatever needs to be done to get a story, but for her it’s about more than getting a story because she also believes in…

2. Standing up for what she thinks is right, and she does so no matter what.  She’s not afraid to disagree with people. She’s spunky and strong-willed and when she gets involved in something she follows it through, which lends itself well to her…

3. Strong work ethic.  When duty calls she’s ready and willing.  While she may be classified as a bit of a workaholic, the commitment she shows to telling the truth and getting all the facts is proof that she understands…

4. The power she holds. Words carry a tremendous amount of weight, and the written word even more so.  Once something’s been printed it’s next to impossible to really make it go away.  Lois understands the fact that she has influence over people’s opinions, and because of that their actions.

My last quality isn’t actually a quality at all (unless you want to call it ability to ask for help.) Drumroll please, the fifth thing I find awesome about Lois Lane is…

5. Her handy-dandy invincible bodyguard; Superman!  I mean the comic book writers would like to say that he patrols all of the world, but clearly you’re only safe if you’re in Metropolis and only then if you’re within 50 feet of Lois Lane.  Lois gets herself into trouble all the time, so despite his lightening speed I don’t see how Superman could ever get very far.  So, yes I certainly would be a bit bolder if I had someone around to save me from certain death every other day.

So, you see, I aspire to be like Lois Lane, because she doesn’t need to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or faster than a speeding bullet, or even more powerful than a locomotive.  She’s just a normal, super power free gal, who still does her part to fight for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

Oh, yeah, the fact that she married Clark Kent/Superman doesn’t hurt either.