Monday, October 6, 2014

Lessons Part 2: Spider-man

1.  With great power comes great responsibility

This is the overarching message of the Spider-man.  If you aren't familiar with the character's origin story you must have been living under a rock for the last 20 years but here's the short version.  When Spidey first got his powers he tried to cash in on them (hey, he was in high school).  The event though shorted him so he ended up walking away disappointed and with much less what he was promised.  As he was leaving though he had an opportunity to thwart a robbery of the same people who shorted him but he let the robber go out of spite.  Turns out the robber ended up killing his uncle.  Spidey exacts his revenge and vows to live up to the lesson his uncle was always trying teach him. 

"With great power comes great responsibility" though is an oversimplification of Uncle Ben's message.  Explained further it means that if you have it within your power to do good and make changes for the better you have an obligation to your fellow man to do it.  It kind of takes on new meaning when you get superpowers and that's a good message too.  It was Abraham Lincoln who said:
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Trust me, it's difficult not throwing your weight around when you have license to do so.  Fortunately I'll always have this lesson I learned from Spidey.

2.  There's nothing glamorous about doing good

Spider-man has another running theme.  He's actually a hair's breath from poverty.  These days he pulls an Avengers salary but he wasn't always living so high on the hog (and honestly I can't even tell you if he's still an Avenger).  There was a time he supported himself by taking pictures of Spider-man in action and letting the paper he sold his pictures to trash Spider-man as a public menace.  Spider-man endured this though because he was doing good and making a difference despite being misunderstood.  What Spider-man did was kind of a metaphor for most average people.  He had all our problems.  He had trouble making ends meet, paying the bills, even keeping a job because he spent so much time in his dual persona.  Despite being Amazing, Spider-man was a lot like you and me.  You and me...can be Amazing. :)

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