Affected

I’m on Christmas vacation and this past weekend, just before the snowstorm moved in, my wife had the foresight to suggest that I grab a couple movies. So I stopped off at the library and snagged a few, including the movie “Batman Begins”. I’ve always been a Batman fan (though those who know me well will know my alltime favorite super hero). The unique thing about Batman that sets him apart from other super heroes however, is that he’s really just a normal human being with a lot of really amazing accessories: the batmobile, the batcave, the batsuit, the batbelt, the batcycle, and so on. But behind all those gadgets is Bruce Wayne, vulnerable human being. And in this way Batman seems more relatable, or dare I say it–attainable to most guys.

Guys watch Batman movies and in our mind we’re thinking things like, “I could do that if I had all that cool stuff.” and “That could be me.”

Now, I haven’t held a conference to discuss this with other guys or anything, but I’d guess that most male minds work like mine. That on some level, even in a very small, possibly diminishing way, most males see themselves (or want to see themselves) as super heroes. Maybe not the kind with a cape and a sweet ride (though we’re not opposed to that), but someone who has superhuman ability to inspire, save, set right, protect, and provide for those around us. We want to be looked at with admiration by those we care about, and maybe even invoke a sense of wonder that triggers a “How’d he do that?!?” reaction. Not to mention, have you seen the new Batmobile? I mean, c’mon!

Soon after I started the movie I was interrupted by a request from my wife to run upstairs and retrieve something from the girls’ bedroom. As I did, I noticed that I was moving about the house in a very peculiar way; lightning fast speeds and yet full of stealth, moving down the stairs swiftly, yet not making a sound, zipping from one room to another as if diabolical marauders awaited me around every corner. Corny and embarassing, I know. But if this blog is nothing else, its honest. Even after a few minutes into the movie, I felt as though I was enrolled in the Batman Training Academy and my every action would decide my worthiness to remain in training.

Within all of us is a desire to be more than we are. I’d guess that most people have a second version of themselves that they privately envision. A version of me that is better, stronger, bolder, funnier, more generous, more compassionate, kinder, more loving, and much more inspirational than the normal me. And while it sure would be nice to have a cool cape that doubles as a set of wings, I don’t think that the answer lies in what we can put on, but rather what we can put off. As for me, I must put off inhibitions, fears, pride, contentment with who I am now, and satisfaction with the current me while the second version of me stays locked inside my mind, growing bored of waiting.

I may not have a Batmobile sitting in my driveway this Christmas morning, but perhaps I can find the gumption to turn loose the bored super hero that’s waiting inside me.

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