As a kid, I kept mostly to myself. Shy and reserved, I liked to read anything I could get my hands on. From Reader’s Digest magazines to old National Geographic magazines, my little mind was a sponge. Unlike most kids my age, at that time, I was hooked to comic books, particularly Spiderman. I could relate: he was still in school; scrawny and shy; and generally lived in his own head. I liked that young Peter Parker had the confidence to try his ideas (he was a science genius after all), and while many didn’t work out, it was his curiosity that led him to his destiny.
I especially was enthralled when he got bit by the spider and it changed him. From that moment on, he had super strength, agility, quickness and fighting ability. It pleased me that someone who had been overlooked by his peers could now outmatch them at anything and everything. Parker was also a bit modest, preferring to keep his identity under wraps much of the time.
It’s an awesome feeling when you know you’re good at something but don’t have to shout it from the rooftops.
What do I like about the character?
His self-confidence, mostly. While we’re accustomed to seeing confidence manifest itself through physical acts, there’s something about having an inner calmness that comes from knowing who you are and what you can do. I liked that Peter didn’t shy away from a fight either, especially later after his special abilities became a factor. In his fictional world, Spiderman stood up for his beliefs and it made him unpopular with many. But it didn’t matter much, he got the job done for his city.
What can you learn from him?
For starters, believe and stand up for yourself, because few people will (if at all). Every one of us has something to offer in our circumstances, so believe in your ability and get to work. It might take a few tries to get it, but it will be worth it in the end.
Second, and very importantly, with power comes responsibility. Power doesn’t necessarily have to be over people; it can mean having special knowledge or talent (singer or computer programmer, etc.). This skill or knowledge can elevate you to great heights, but you have to be responsible about it. At all times, you have to remember to use that talent responsibly, which means taking the time to nurture it and using it to make other’s lives better. It’s the only way to make the most use of your ability while not getting misguided by its potential.
Thirdly, it pays to keep doing the right things, even if no one notices or you don’t get the credit. In our normal lives, it’s easy to give up doing good, especially when we don’t get credit for it. Good leaders keep going, doing their best, working hard even when they don’t get thanked or appreciated.
theamjournal has an ongoing hero series that invites our audience and writers to share what they learn from their all time favourite super-hero/heroine. These heroes give us comfort and encouragement during difficult times or offer good entertainment when you need something good to watch/read or pass time. They remind us of values we need to have.
It’s been a crazy year for this country and we need to have a few good laughs as we wind down the year. So who is your super-hero and what do you learn from them?