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The superheroes in us

When I was young, I wanted to be a superman. My grandmother’s sarong would be my cape and I could fly from the upper deck of the staircase across the risers to the bottom with ease. Once, I landed on ‘Happy’, my neighbour’s dog and it didn’t end quite happily.

Let’s just say that ‘Happy’ wasn’t so happy after that. It would growl when I wanted to get close to it for the next few days but thank god, Happy went back to its old self and wagged its tail happily again only if I wasn’t around.

Then I wanted to be the bionic man. I tried so hard listening to my surroundings so I could hear a cry for help. I would often close my eyes and listened but no one ever called for help so I helped rescue my neighbours’ cats instead from the villains- their nemesis, the dogs. Then someone told me to stop listening for fear I’d be hearing whispers from the dead. And right then my bionic ears just stopped functioning.

With the first first-aid box at home, I played doctor. When a friend got bitten by a dog, I cleaned the wound with the yellow solution and covered the wound with a gauze pad before wrapping it nicely with a gauze roll. Now that I think about it, it was not bad except that I think I had forgotten to wash the wound. My friend’s father found out later and sent her to the hospital for fear of rabies infection but luckily she was alright.

Then, a family meeting was held. Boy, was I afraid. My grandfather scolded me for playing doctor though and told me the consequences of my action. I felt guilty and the doctor-wannabe me ditched the dream and hopped on to a new one.

My new dream was to be a police officer on a motorbike with Frank and Ponch in CHiPs, the two Highway Patrolmen of the California Highway Patrol (CHP, hence the name CHiPs). I also wanted to be a super spy and owned a cool car that could interact like David Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider. I remember I was also an Ultraman and a power ranger too, beating crocodiles on the loose beneath the living room chairs.

I also wanted to be the Iceman for a long time because initially, I thought he was generating concrete so I wanted to concrete everything so that no human will have to see any earthworm ever again. And there’s another character that I wanted to be- the Plastic man so I could protrude my eyes to see what the inside of my ear looked like.

I dreamt of fighting for justice and saving the world for a very, very long time. I could say I was young and innocent but my intention was real. If superpowers weren’t real back then, how did I manage to perform a flying kick move like Bruce Lee (or so I imagined)? You see, when we were young, most of us wanted to save the world and uphold justice, combat evil and destroy darkness. Our noble intention was pure and sacred but what happened along the way? We grew up.

Life gets in the way and it changes our virtues and priorities. We are becoming less tolerant and more selfish that we forget about our righteous dreams. Some might have the power to manipulate, persuade, or even disseminate hatred or propaganda thus the superheroes in us are slowly disappearing. The young and innocent want what is good for mankind.

Their innocence is not clouded by greed, manipulation, and selfishness but pure values and righteousness. We should learn from them. Can we go back to our innocent self where the hearts are genuine and our minds are simple? I believe, deep down in our hearts, the superheroes that we used to be, still exist. We just need to be reminded now and then to do good, be compassionate, and display kindness to others. Superpowers or not, if we cease to believe, we lose the virtues.

We can still have the same dream in saving the world and upholding justice and we can start with a simple act of kindness like ‘thank you’ and ‘how are you’. To revive the superheroes within us, we need to display more kindness and less selfishness in this digital era.

Courtesy can be displayed through our gesture towards others and in the things we say whether verbally or in writing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step and we’ve taken that first step a long time ago, so rest if we must but don’t stop.

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