As you probably know by now, I love comic books and have for years. As comics have migrated to the Big Screen and the little one, something interesting has happened. I’ve see it twice in the last few weeks, and it applies to us as well.
According to the Huffington Post, Melissa Benoist, the actress who plays Supergirl on the new series, said that she “tries to embrace her character Kara Danvers in her own life, pushing to be the best possible version of herself everyday. “[Supergirl] and Superman are truth, justice, and the American way,” the 28-year-old actress said. “She sets some really high standards to live up to and, playing the role, it has definitely infused itself into my life and helped me to be a stronger, braver person than I ever have been. It’s been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Definitely the most difficult job, but really rewarding in that way. I love it. I love Supergirl.”
She made a sign for the Women’s March that said”Hey, Donald, don’t try to grab MY p…y. It’s made of steel!”
Today, the news comes that Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the movies has tweeted taking on former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Evans couldn’t remain silent after Duke gave his support for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation.The actor tweeted, “If David Duke….DAVID!…DUKE!… thinks you’re right, then you are unequivocally wrong.” And further, when Duke responded, Evans responded with a compilation of quotes that Duke had made in the past. in short, he responded to bigotry with facts.
Now you may reasonably say, “They’re just actors — celebrities who opinions don’t matter”. In that case, you miss the point. It is because they are actors that I call your attention to them. No, they are not real superheroes. They pretend for a living! But the iconic nature of the characters they portray calls out from what Jung termed “the collective unconscious” and in finding that part of their nature, they become the characters they portray on screen. More to the point, though, is that that part of them guides them. The archetype sets the standard for the person, and the person becomes more than they are.
When we are guided by the heroic icons within ourselves, we too, can act like heroes or heroines. Beyond prooftexting, no one knows which words of Jesus or Buddha or anyone else are actual quotes. But one could do worse than trying to imitate either of them. Gandhi wasn’t perfect, nor MLK, nor Kennedy either. But using any of them as role models, and striving to live up to the legacy that they left, can make us more than we think we are.
Yes, we too, can pretend to be heroes. And in pretending, we can actually be heroes, for more than one day. We don’t need super powers. We need courage, and kindness, and decent treatment of one another. Apparently, those things can be found within us, just as they have within these two actors.
So, maybe you want to find a hero of either gender and try to become like them, to fight back evil with good. This is the time to do it.
Resisting with peace,