Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wisdom from Comic Books

Some days you just need to relax, get into some sweatpants, and head over to Barnes and Noble for some free light reading. I did so just that the other day, and like I usually do, headed right for the comic book isle (I'm not snobby enough to call them graphic novels). So just what wisdom can these decades old characters offer? A theme central in most good comics is this idea: growth through pain. It is the hard times in our life that make us more of who we want to be, if we will let them. The death of Bruce Wayne's parents made him seek justice as the Batman. The destruction of Krypton created Superman. The list goes on: Spider-man, Beast, Flash, all three Robins and of course my favorite, V for Vendetta. Without their loss, they would not have become great. But let's not forget, pain can also break us. Two-face and Dr. Octopus are just a few examples of how sorrow turned into destruction.

Although I have been fortunate so far, I will experience massive loss in my life. I, not my circumstances, will determine the effect it has on my life. The true test of character is when things get hardest. Luckily, we don't have to go it alone. Clark Kent had his adopted parents, Tony Stark had Jarvis and even Batman had Alfred. These relationships help to steer our heroes towards their destiny.

And you thought comics were just for kids.

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