What if you can’t fly?

Is it possible we’re not all meant to be superheroes?

It’s very fashionable to live according to a mantra that says, “you can do anything you want to if you put your mind to it.” But I confess that I have a bit of a problem with that… not least of which because it manifestly ISN’T everyone’s experience. I call the unsuccessful hopefuls on X-Factor / Pop Idol et al as my witnesses to that.

And yet, so popular is this mantra that I once got into a lot of trouble with someone for suggesting that we may not all be called to be superheroes; super famous or super successful. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on that since but, at least at this point in time, that I still believe it to be true…*

The Bible relates a story told by Jesus about a rich man who goes on a journey and he gives some of his money to three people to look after whilst he’s away. It says he gave different amounts to each one, “according to their ability”. One man was given 5 bags of gold, another 2 and the third was given only 1 – that seems fairly clear to me – we’re not all given the same gifts, resources or opportunities.

Reading further on we hear that the man given only 1 bag of gold returned it safe when the rich man returned. The other two both used the money to make more – so they returned double what they’d been given. The moral of the story seems to be that we should make the most of what we’ve been given, not just ‘bury it’ to keep it safe. The issue wasn’t how much the other two made, but that they’d used what they’d been given wisely.

The film ‘Mystery Men‘ is about a group of ‘fairly-super’ heroes who live in the shadow of one genuinely super hero, Captain Amazing.

The Mystery Men film poster
Poster for the film 'Mystery Men'
**SPOILER ALERT**
For reasons we don’t need to go into, they find themselves with a choice either to face a super-villian without Captain Amazing …or run away. One of the heroes, ‘The Shoveller’ encourages his cohorts;

“We can’t run! This is egg salad …it’s loaded with cholesterol; the wife won’t even let me touch it. It hardly seems to matter now ’cause chances are we’re already dead. ‘Amazing’ is gone – there’s no use waiting for the cavalry because as of this moment the cavalry is us.
This is our fight whether we like it or not, just we few.
We’re not your classic superheroes; we’re not the favourites, we’re the other guys; we’re the guys nobody ever bets on. But I tell you what I think …we’re all in over our heads and we know it. But if we take on this fight, those of us who survive it will forever after show our scars with pride and say, “That’s right! I was there. I fought the good fight”.
So what do you say, do we all gather together and go kick some (supervillian) butt …or do I eat this sandwich?”

** END SPOILER ALERT **

Each one of us has unique skills, talents, gifts, opportunities and resources and I wonder whether, if we all concentrated on making the most of what we have right now, rather than concerning (and comparing) ourselves with others who seem to have been given more than us, we might all be a lot happier!
Perhaps it would make more sense then, for each of us to try to make the most of what we have – of what we have been given.

I look at other people’s lives and, from time to time, wish I’d been given the opportunities they have… but it’s a chilling experience when you meet someone else who looks at you that way!

You may not be called to be everyone’s superhero – but all of us can have an amazing impact on some one or some situation. The challenge is to find the right niche – the place where you can have a unique impact. Have fun discovering the ‘super you’

* As usual; ‘My experience may differ from yours and this is only my take on things right now; I reserve the right to change my mind in the future’