If you’re reading this: congratulations! You’re a human being (most likely). As a human being, you have a certain power about you whether you recognize it or not. Your existence on this earth has altered it somehow; every person you’ve ever come in contact with, every place you have ever visited, every space you have every occupied, was changed because you were there for the better or for worse.
That’s a lot of power, and in the words of Uncle Ben to Peter Parker, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
I know you didn’t ask for this power; no one asked if you wanted to be a human being just like no one asked Peter Parker if he wanted to be Spider-Man. He was bitten and you were born, and now you both have a choice. Will you use your powers for good or for evil?
You may be saying, “I didn’t even know I had this power, how do I use it for good?” Well, have no fear, young hero. I’m here to help. Here are the five major responsibilities you have as a human being.
You are responsible for your fellow human beings’ physical safety. Now, I’m going to need you to stay with me on this and listen to what I’m saying. You are responsible to the people around you for their safety as much as it is in your power. You cannot always keep everyone safe because you do not actually have superpowers, but that does not mean you get to idly sit by and do nothing. There is literally a law about helping someone when they are in trouble. It’s called “the Good Samaritan Law”. If you see someone in trouble and you do not help, not only are you breaking the law, but you are being a bad person. You are not using your powers for good. Help others.
You are responsible for your fellow human beings’ mental/emotional safety. I’ve recently received the rude awakening that bullying does not end when you walk across the stage at high school graduation. Adults are just as mean as children and sometimes even more so. You still do not get to ignore it. You are responsible for swinging in on your web and saving the day. It is your job to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. It is your responsibility to make sure your fellow man, woman, and child is happy and healthy to the best of your ability. Remember, you have these powers whether you like it or not. “But why?” you may ask. I know it seems like a large undertaking but as your superhero mentor, I assure you that it will be worth it. Think about it: the happier and healthier everyone around you is, the happier and healthier you will be.
You are responsible for making sure all human beings are treated equally.You are still Spider-Man and it is your job to make sure all the Aqua-Mans and Boy Wonders of the world feel just as special and just as important as the Supermans and the Batmans of the world. “But I didn’t sign-up for this!” you exclaim. But you were born into this world and you are living now which means you have these powers. In this day and age, we as a society, as a race of beings, cannot afford for even one person to forsake their responsibilities. We all have to look out for one another, and the more people who step-up and take care of one another, the better our race as a whole will be.
You are responsible to your home planet.In this scenario, you are still Spider-Man. Earth is your home planet. You only get one. You do not get to pull a Super-Man and find a new planet if this one gets wrecked. You do get to fight tooth and nail to keep your home planet happy and healthy, though. You can do this by recycling, conserving energy, gardening, planting trees, supporting local parks, etc. “I’d rather fly or have laser vision,” you grumble. Yes, well, tell that to Superman, who lost his home planet. See how he feels about you wasting the only home you have. You have to take care of your living space if you want to keep on living.
You are responsible for being proud of your super powers.You are still Spider-Man, but in your case there is no Peter Parker. You are a hero all the time, you don’t get to take off your mask and cape and stop being a hero. When Peter Parker takes off the suit, he’s still Spider-Man. Even if you ignore all of these responsibilities and pretend you’re just drifting through life powerless to the things around you, you’ll still be affecting the people around you.
To change movie franchises, in the words of Master Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”
Having the potential to do good and not doing it, is doing evil. If you ignore the people around you, ignore your planet, and view yourself as a victim rather than a hero, your actions won’t benefit anyone. What’s the point of being a human being if you only worry about yourself all the time? Like it or not, we’re all on this planet together. We’re all fighting the same battles and we’re all on the same path of life no matter how different we all may seem. The best way to get through this life is by working together. You have to do your part. The work won’t get done unless you step-up and do it yourself. You’re a superhero in your own way. It’s your job to save the day every day and take care of the people around you. The harder you work to make this life worth living for everyone, the better this life will be.