I remember being 5 years old and watching the first Spiderman movie. I was captivated by the story and the idea that an ordinary person could become something extraordinary. I became so obsessed, that everytime my uncle would take me to a bookstore, I was always heading straight to the comic book section to pick up the editions of all my favorites. As the years have gone by, the idea of going to a bookstore and buying a physical book has become a more ancient idea, but Marvel and DC have built a cinematic empire using pieces of paper as a foundation. For years, I've gone to the theatres and have found myself being more and more enthralled with the amazing effects and complex storylines from these movies. And as the latest Avenger's movie is set to release next month, I've had time to realize that the true superheroes don't wear capes.
Every day, I see posts on Facebook about people who do good things, and no one seems to care. There are people freezing in the cold on a winter night because they have nowhere else to go. People are rotting away as addiction cripples them, and it's like they're invisible to everyone. It seems like people know what they should do, and they just don't want to. Then I realized, the true heroes are the ones you don't see on Facebook.
The real heroes are the single parents who work two jobs to feed their kids and still make it on time to every soccer game. The real heroes are the firefighters who run into a burning building, not knowing if they're going to come out or not. The random citizen who sees a homeless person on Christmas Eve and buys them a meal instead of looking away. This is for the sons and daughters of our nation who have laid down their lives protecting it. People like Lt. Michael Murphy, who gave up their lives to save the ones they love.
I see in a lot of news headlines that people like Jake Paul and RiceGum are "bad role models" for children. And then I'll see parents post on Facebook about how these guys have "corrupted" their children. This drives me insane because if as a parent you're letting a couple of 22-year-olds who make fools of themselves on the internet control how you're children behave, you're doing something wrong. Your children already think you're superhuman, show them what a real hero is. Go play a game of catch with your kids, take them for a drive and show them something beautiful, just be a part of their lives. Take them to a soup kitchen and show them that picking up a ladle has more of an impact than picking up Thor's hammer.
Above all else, show your kids that they can heroes too. My parents are in their 50s (or as we call it in my house, speed limit area), but the things they did for me growing up will always make them stronger than the Justice League in my eyes.