By Lisa Goudy
I’ve been thinking a lot about superheroes this week. It started exactly a week ago when I watched the finale of the 10th and final season of the hit television show Smallville. For those of you who don’t know, Smallville is a about a young Clark Kent struggling to find his place in the world and take on his destiny to become the hero we know and love - Superman.
I know the finale actually aired on television in 2011, but being late to start watching the show (and very quickly getting permanently hooked on it), I watched all 10 seasons on DVD since watching season one in late 2006. As a small aside, I have to say that the finale certainly didn’t disappoint and although it was very exciting to watch, it was also kind of sad to watch the final episode of a show that aired for 10 years.
But my thoughts about superheroes didn’t end there. I was quickly reminded that Marvel’s The Avengers movie hits theatres today, which has been amped up as much as possible by its preceding films that set up some background on each of the superheroes involved, including Iron Man, Thor and Captain America.
Then on Tuesday, the new Dark Knight Rises trailer hit the Internet. The Dark Knight Rises is the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman precursor series to be released in July. It is clear that superheroes remain more popular now than ever.
What really made the subject of superheroes stick was what 15-year-old Jessica Froehlich said to me during an interview for the Moose Jaw Festival of Dance that I did earlier this week. She said that although she has had nerves building up sometimes before the competition, her teachers would do anything they could to help, spending any time on any day with the dancers.
“They are superheroes,” Froehlich said.
To those dancers, their teachers are saving them and giving them strength and hope. I believe that we can find superheroes in our own backyards. I think those teachers are a perfect, real life example of what we see superheroes doing on television and in movies.
Another example is the annual Radiothon on 800 CHAB that kicked off on Thursday. The radiothon, a 36-hour broadcast, is a fundraiser for the Moose Jaw Health Foundation. More cardiac and stroke equipment will be provided to the city hospital.
Think about how many people out there who will seriously benefit from the equipment, equipment that might save their lives. People who help out to that cause are superheroes to people whose lives they are literally saving.
Don’t forget about members of the EMS, people who work at and donate to charities like the food bank or the couple who took four mentally handicapped people on a trip to Mexico, among endless others. All of those are examples of people doing things to help people in the community. They are saving lives too.
But you don’t have to be a doctor or a social worker to save lives. That’s not entirely what a superhero is. A superhero is someone who inspires, who gives hope and who can be a positive influence to people around them. People look to superheroes for guidance and we can give people that every day.
So we don’t need to have super speed or super strength or other special gadgets or powers to guide us along the way. We can be all be heroes, even if all we do is lend a hand every once in a while. It can be as simple as donating to a charity, holding a door open for somebody or saying thank you for someone's hard work. Sure, we may not be saving the world, but we can save the world for one person.
And, if we’re ever in doubt, shows like Smallville and other popular superhero movies can inspire us to be the hero and really make a difference.