The Making of a Super Hero
During the month of July we have discussed women who made a difference. We also discovered that they overcame a tragedy in their lives in their making a difference. In my book, this makes each of these women a super hero. In one way or another, most of us dream about being something larger than life. Perhaps it is to be a warrior, a princess/queen, a leader/king, or maybe it is simply to be better today than you were yesterday. All too often, though, there are voices that silence our aspirations. These voices can be external and internal and they seemingly out shout the hopes we have in becoming our own super hero.
Yesterday our woman of the day was Marion Wright Edelman. Admonished by her dying father as a child to make education her venue for making a difference, she offers us solutions for our own living. Her words are not only great motivation for the children she has helped and continues to help, they afford us answers to all those naysayers who tell us we cannot be better than we are.
The way we become super heroes is to take that first step towards making a difference. This is often the hardest step we will ever take and yet, it may also be the most important. So how do we do it? “We must not, in trying to think how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee,” Marion Wright Edelman advises.
We often let fear stop us as well. It is not the fear of doing something difficult, though. It is the fear of not being liked. The lawyer turned advocate has an answer for that one as well. “You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.” Most likely you never dreamed of being a flea but sometimes, it is worth being annoying to effect great change and make a big difference, a very positive difference, in the life of someone.
We seldom see super heroes sweat but trust me, it cannot be easy leaping tall buildings, chasing down criminals, flying across the planet, defying the basic laws of physics, etc. Surely, in their service to others, they exert energy. So why do they do it? Why should we step out of our safe cocoon of existence to try to make a difference for another? “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” No living breathing human being became alive without someone putting in some effort and sweat to give them birth. The very purpose of someone giving you life is so you can grow and learn and then later, do the same for another – not particularly by literally giving birth but by giving birth to positive change.
This month is over but the need for super heroes is never over. “It’s time for greatness – not for greed. It’s time for idealism – not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action.” It is not easy. Very few things really worth having are ever truly easy. “It is so important not to let ourselves off the hook or to become apathetic or cynical by telling ourselves that nothing works or makes a difference. Every day, light your small candle…. The inaction and actions of many human beings over a long time contributed to the crises our children [and adults] face, and it is the action and struggle of many human beings over time that will solve them – with God’s help.”
Marion Wright Edelman admonishes and reassures us all to “Be a good ancestor. Stand for something bigger than yourself. Add value to the earth during your sojourn.” Tomorrow we will discuss, in our final post about women making a difference, how one woman is using social media to build a community and make a positive change – all with one post from the comfort of her office. We don’t have to leap tall building with a single bound. We just have to defeat the voices within our own heads and then be of service to another. It can be as easy as a single keystroke. Then truly, as Wright Edelman encourages us to do, we can “add value to the Earth during [our] sojourn.”