My children, like many children their age, love the idea of Super Heroes. They play superhero, and in the course of that play they battle evil, fight for the right, and save the world. Of course, the evil is never subtle, there is never any question of who is “right”, and the world is in obvious danger from something that can be stopped by brute force.
Our 1st-3rd grade class is currently using a curriculum that puts a different spin on the concept of heroes: Superheroes of the Bible. Here they learn the stories of Moses (and his mother and sister), Elijah, and more, and then they talk about how those people were “heroes”. Not perfect, not super-strong, but heroes all the same. As the curriculum says in its introduction, “people who do heroic deeds have generally humble beginnings, have shortcomings, and make mistakes. Great things can be accomplished by nonperfect people”.
A recent session of the class had the kids talking about what “superpower” they would like to have. Flying, invisibility, mind-reading, and super-strength were all proposed. What would you want as your superpower? Personally, infinite patience would be a very useful superpower for me! The theme song of the curriculum says that a super hero is someone who is “powerful with brains and even stronger in their heart”. What superpowers could live in your heart?
What superpower did Moses’s mother need in order to send her precious baby out onto the river Nile? What superpower did Moses need to take leadership when he was afraid and hated to speak in public? What superpower do you need in order to tackle the challenges in your life? What powers do we all need to tackle the challenges facing our world?
We can all be a hero. When we live our life fully and use our positive superpowers to interact with the world around us, when we grow spiritually and ethically, then we are a hero. When we help others, when we do what we think is right, when we experience loving compassion, we are heroes.
There are many ways that kids, like my kids, can be real Super Heroes. I make a meal once a month for Camp Quixote, and my kids go with me to deliver it. There, they are real heroes. When they dump out their penny bank to donate the money to Haitian earthquake relief, they are real heroes. When they interact with each other with loving compassion (no mean feat for siblings at times), they are heroes. And I know that everyone here at OUUC has those moments when they are a hero, young and old alike.
Let us all cultivate our own superpowers! (heroic fist pump goes here)