What makes a superhero a superhero? I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks, but for me a superhero is someone who does something extraordinary and for the greater good. They typically have powers that the rest of us don’t possess. Superman was always my favorite growing up, probably because that was the era of the Superman movies. He was just so good and so selfless.
I know a few real life superheroes who actually do possess something the rest of us might not. My parents, for instance, who lived so selflessly to raise their kids. Not all parents can do this, but the ones that can really possess something that the rest of us strive for.
There are some social workers and counselors that I know to be superheroes. Not all of them, but the ones that can truly engage with their clients, go the extra mile, and still manage to take care of themselves. These people are truly superheroes for so many of us.
I have known horses that were superheroes. These are the lesson horses, therapeutic riding horses, and just the everyday horse that tolerates confused signals and teaches people how to really ride. People have to experience these superhero horses before they are able to ride the super athlete horses that we see at the upper levels. All of us who are riders have experienced at least one of these superhero horses.
Then there is that grandmother who is raising her grandchild. She is elderly and the grandchild is exhausting with her behavioral issues, no doubt stemming from the parent’s substance abuse issues or other problem that led the grandmother to take custody. These women (and grandfathers, too) take one day at a time and give their golden years to another round of parenting. These people are amazing.
And there are kids who are superheroes. Some kids have endured so much. We can’t even imagine what they have been through during their formative years and yet we expect them to behave, live by social norms, have self-control. These kids have lost parents, been abused, haven’t learned trust, haven’t known the stability that allowed the rest of us to turn into the successful adults we are today. Some of these kids really thrive and make it. I even had one kid tell me about his imaginary superhero that was able to help him fight off the demons that were his thoughts. Amazing. This kid really is a superhero.
Who are the superheroes in your life? Give them a shout today. They probably need to it recharge their superpowers.