The Common Good

You’re Wearing a Cape. Really.

Do you have a favorite superhero? I’ve always liked Batman. As a boy, I read all the Batman comic books. I like the cape and the cowl, the bat logo, the cool car with the flames coming out the back, the interesting villains.

Girl dressed up like a superhero, Sunny studio /
Girl dressed up like a superhero, Sunny studio /

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What I like especially is that Batman is a regular person. Other superheroes fly or run at supersonic speeds or stretch their body parts in ways that are very strange and make you wonder. Batman has none of those powers. He’s like us — well, regular except for the part about being ultra-rich and living in a mansion above a bat cave …

The bottom line is that Batman fights for a better world using the things available to all of us: Creativity. Commitment. Courage. A passion to make a difference someone else’s life.

He reminds me of the super hero in each of us.

Super heroes aren’t special because they can leap tall buildings or shoot spider webs from their wrists or drive bat-winged cars. They’re special because they use their powers — and we all have them — to make the world a more just and love-driven place.

That’s what makes them heroes. That’s what makes them super. They care deeply and they put themselves on the line for others.

And here’s the thing: There are super heroes all around us.

The person who finds the day-to-day patience and love to raise a special needs child. The person who works two or three jobs so their kids can have an education. The person who inspires a child to dream big and then to aspire to live their dreams.

The person who performs some small act of kindness that reminds us we are special and loved for who we are. The person who is going through a tough time yet finds ways to help others. The person who smiles at us even though they don’t know us.

The person who holds our hand when we’re hurting and shares our pain. The person who sees things in us that we may not even see in ourselves. The person who wants to be with us even though they know that being with us will cost them dearly.

The person who loves us no matter what.

Look around. There are super heroes everywhere. Their everyday clothes are their costumes. Their special powers come from a place deep inside them, a place where we intersect with the divine.

Have you ever daydreamed about being a superhero? About being a person who can use your powers to help others, protect others, save others? Have you wished that you could be a superhero?

You already are.

And if you doubt that, just take a minute to think about yourself. See the sacrifices you have made. See the courage that has brought you this far. See the love that you have given and that you have received. See the people whom you love, and the people who love you just as you are.

And see the many strangers that you can touch, too. They need you just as well. Everybody needs someone to come into their life and help them through it. Everybody needs a super hero.

That’s you.

Remember that you have powers well beyond your imagining, powers given to you from above. If you take some time to look at yourself a little more closely, you’ll recognize that you’re wearing a cape.

A cape that fits you perfectly.

Joe Kay is a professional writer living in the Midwest.

Image: Girl dressed up like a superhero, Sunny studio /

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