How to Be a Superhero without Supernatural Abilities

By Craig Ford on 8 September 2010 3 comments

I recently took a long drive to spend a short time with my 93 year-old-grandpa. Grandpa has always had an infectious smile where he happily shows off his pearly dentures. Grandpa loved his wife until death did them part. Mum told me how he used to help so much around the house when she was a baby. This was during a generation when dads didn't typically do the whole baby thing. My grandpa was active in his local church and always participated in community activities. When I hear about everything he has accomplished in his 93 years, it reminds me that my grandpa is a hero.

A hero isn't someone who wears a crimson cape. A hero is not someone who possesses super human strength. A hero is someone who consistently does amazing things over a lifetime.

My wife recently watched our three young kids for 10 days while I was traveling. Each day she wakes up ready to give up more of herself to give our kids an amazing childhood. She cleans, she scrubs, she changes, she washes. She does heroic activities on a daily basis.

I wish more "ordinary" people would be recognized for their extraordinary contribution to our lives. I wish that grandma and grandpa could get as much press time as our favorite TV celebrity. I wish we'd learn to idolize those who really make a difference instead of drooling over people with already inflated egos.

Case Study: Romance Movies

I sometimes wonder if I've ever seen a real romance movie. I've seen a lot of movies where two people meet each other, have strong feelings towards each other, overcome a difficulty, and then get married as the movie ends.

What does any of that have to do with love?

Love is not a strong feeling that we chase after and eventually capture.

Where is the Hollywood movie about the husband, wife, and kids? Where is the family that struggles to make ends meet as they touch base for just a moment to coordinate schedules? In their worn-down and fatigued resolve, they serve each other and honor each other.

That, dear friends, is where we find true love. That is where we witness a truly heroic marriage relationship.

Want to be extraordinary? Want to make a real contribution to this world?

10 ways to be a superhero without any supernatural abilities

  1. Think not only of your own interests, but also the interests of others.
  2. Find satisfaction in service.
  3. Determine life's true priorities and fanatically pursue those things.
  4. Be a mentor and let someone mentor you.
  5. Do what you know is right even when you don't feel like it.
  6. Ask people about their lives and be prepared to listen.
  7. Clean up the mess. Do what others think is beneath them.
  8. Apologize when you make a mistake.
  9. Be a principle-based person who does what is right, not just what is expedient or lucrative.
  10. Honor those who are older.

Do you have any heroes you want to honor? What are other ways to be a superhero without any supernatural abilities?

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Julie Rains's picture

"Superheroes" happens to be the theme of my local MS Bike Ride (and perhaps nationwide) this year; those who support each other throughout longer riding distances and raise money for research and support of those diagnosed with MS might fit this classification.

I'll also mention that I wrote about poverty-fighting superheroes for Blog Action Day a couple of years ago: your 1 and 2 are prominent themes.

Guest's picture

I've always personally found the use of "superhero" when referring to anything but superpowered or costumed heroes to be annoying:

1) It devalues the term hero, which is really what you're referring to. The term hero is more than enough of a reverent term. Just because someone has determination and is kind to others over themselves does not elevate them above the realm of hero into superhero, just as someone who knows how to tweet isn't a "social networking god." They're both equally ridiculous statements.

2) It just sounds like cashing in on the current superhero craze. It's as ridiculous as sunglasses calling themselves "HD Sunglasses"... I think I even saw someone advertising themselves as HD without having anything to do with vision... like "HD Plumbing Services". It sounds like the same kind of pseudospeak that birthed "synergy" and "paradigm"

3) Not that it really matters, but did you know that the term superhero is trademarked jointly by Marvel and DC comics? You literally cannot have any and all parts of your product include the term "superhero" or variations thereof:

I feel like after 9/11 we were doing pretty good about recognizing the true heroes in our lives: doctors, firefighters, policemen, volunteers. Well, apparently being a hero just doesn't cut it nowadays, we now need to become superheroes.

Guest's picture

Well, technically no one can be a hero, but articles like this are a lot better than the constant reminder of how poor you are, how messed up the economy is, and how a politician got caught with his "wiener" out (a horrible pun, I know). Instead of taking time out to analyze a metaphorically based positive article about being a better citizen and person, why don't you try to be a real superhero. So you can find a toxic waste dump and roll around in it, or take the message from this article and DO something positive for yourself and others...