I must want to be a superhero.
I realized I must want to be a superhero.
I fear being unprepared to serve others if called to do so.
I’m alert, I’m aware, I’m educated. Shouldn’t I be able to help, to facilitate, and to lead?
I want to heal others.
I wonder if that is why I’ve been driven to study medicine, to try to equip myself with skills and knowledge in the hopes that I could one day help explain some of the immense mysteries that govern the way things work, that way people are, the way we live and change. But, if I was on a plane and someone was having a heart attack, what could I offer out of my knowledge?
I want to understand.
I wonder if that is why I cracked open dictionaries in German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, and Japanese. I traveled eagerly, sought out people different from me to converse with. I listened in to conversations in Italian and Portuguese around me, hoping to catch a few words I could understand. I sang along in Spanish to get the rhythm of words. I practiced what I could, but could only do so much on my own.
I want to be the eyes and ears for those who need help but don’t know how to ask for it.
I heard a mother down the street raise her voice at her child. My head snapped around, anxious to see if there was any danger. They spoke a different tongue and I knew instantly that I was limited – I would not be able to understand. Would I have the intuition to detect and prevent danger and abuse? Would I have the courage to speak up? Could I rescue, if needed? Would I have the wisdom to protect another being in a time of need? I don’t know.
But I wanted to be there for whomever I knew of who could need me.
I want to know if that is enough.
How can we prepare to be superheroes at the ready? What is a superhero? Today, he or she may not wear a cape, or have a special suit of armor, but rather has a mysterious identification with the common good and a desire to protect fundamental rights of others. A superhero also knows when and who to ask for help, from other superheroes that understand. A superhero is also never done with his or her training. He or she has faith that inward capacity grows, although perhaps at a different pace than expected. So I’m going to keep training, and know that I’m not alone.
Do you have any responses to this reflection? I would really like to hear in the comments.