Earlier I posted about heroes, and I’ll get back to that. Right now I want to talk about superheroes, mainly DC based because Marvel has some weird stuff going on. My halloween costume aside, we’ll leave marvel to the side.
Superheroes, as DC envisions them, usually are born with their powers and deal with it their whole lives. (Batman the exception, he’s totally normal just super rich). Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter…all born with the powers. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it is something almost that we can’t understand. That’s why there are so many storylines that try to show weakness. (I can’t stand those. No villain that is stronger than them, just their own angst and emotions or ego that is the enemy. I’m sorry but that’s not why we read superhero comics!)
So that comes to my favorite, Hal Jordan. “Joe,” you ask, “that’s not a superhero name!” You are right. Because Hal Jordan was a brave, upright, honorable man before he became the Green Lantern of sector 2814.
He was a test pilot, already putting his life on the line to test the newest planes. In the classic GL, he was also upstanding, always ready to do the right thing, and just an all around good dude. You want that kind of dude on your superhero team. Getting the green ring that is focused by willpower added a whole new dimension to his skills and abilities. However, unlike other superheroes, the ring is something that can leave Hal and he has the strength to go on without his power. Hal is a human, he has doubts and insecurities, but also knows the right thing to do even though it is tough. And (unless you read the modern comics, that made him uncharacteristically whiny and emotional) he does the right thing. (Again, caveats – he’s still a comic book character and I’m SURE that over the 60 years or so he’s been around that they’ve written many bad things he’s done. This is my blog.)
Let’s put this into context – Hal Jordan punched batman in the FACE. Without using his ring’s power!
So, that brings me to the purpose of the post. We humans admire superheroes, we watch the movies, read the comics, etc. But we know in our hearts that we can’t be them, no matter how many capes we have. That is why Green Lantern is the best- he’s a guy, that because of his character was given the power of a superhero, and then used it to become the greatest of all the lanterns. And still was a regular dude and would be able to move on from that power. He is closer to you and I than anyone else in the universe (unless some of you are super rich heirs to a fortune) and that makes him relatable.
Because I have off days. Frankly, there are days when I grow discouraged with not being able to hold a fork, or speak up in meetings, or pick up my kids, or throw a basketball, or be understood when I talk. This is real, this isn’t something glamorous or that I can fly off to a solitary fortress of some kind to recoup, I have to deal with it. And in those off days, I pray, and worry, and hope. And I pray some more. And… sometimes silly reminders of comic book heroes help you get through the day. So why not pick the one that is closest to real life?
Remember that we all have down days. We all “lose heart”. We all get discouraged when our wheelchair doesn’t get picked up by companies (ok that’s just me.). But our human life is one of trying to do the right thing. We rely on powers outside our own control or creation to get through those moments, but before we can rely on them, we have to take the step in the little things. If we fall, we have to choose to get up. If we fall short, we have to choose to try again. If we can’t do it, we have to choose to ask for help. Life is a series of choices, and while we can’t do it alone, neither can we wait around for someone else to magically do it for us.
It takes Hal Jordan’s own choices to make him the best Green Lantern. Life takes our choices to make us the best we can be, too, no matter how down we get.
Let’s choose to get up, ask for and accept help, and keep moving forward.