This I Believe

Richard - Byron, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

I am in the business of heroes. These are the old kind of heroes, the kind of heroes with capes and cowls, swords and shields. These are the heroes which do impossible things. They leap across buildings with ease. They race bullets and heartbeats.

They carry worlds on their shoulders.

But Atlas may have balanced the world so perfectly on his shoulders, but did he ever have to balance credit card debt with a mortgage? He probably didn’t. So why does everyone from the worried teen in economics class to the to middle aged office worker feel like they are standing in for Atlas a on sick day?

Only after the Trojan Horse did the walls of Troy falls, and chances are the modern workplace is no stranger to a different kind Trojan Horse. But our post-modern Trojan Horse isn’t limited to the mailbox. Our everyday adversaries are as fast as the Flash and as frantic as Chicken Little. In the introduction of the Alan Moore-written “V for Vendetta”, graphic novel artist David Lloyd dedicated the ground-breaking work “to the people who don’t switch off the News.” It is the one strength this new age of information has painfully allowed us.

Superheroes are for times we wish we could feel adamantium claws every time we clinched our fist. Superheroes are for times we wish a giant green behemoth in purple pants would emerge from a flustered rage. Supervillains, world domination and doomsday plots are Smallville in a day of split-second communication and twenty-four hour news networks. We aren’t “super” and yet we walk through it all. It seems impossible, and we do it anyway.

Our days are not always glorious, not always triumphant, not always heroic. But every day we’re still standing is a small victory. Like Charles Bronson says in “The Magnificent Seven”, living life takes courage – more courage than a gunfighter, more courage than a knight in shining armor, more courage than a hero with a cape and cowl.

Our days are filled with impossible things. If only Atlas knew he had it easy balancing the same world on his shoulders everyday, while everyday we chose to hold a different Earth on a shoulders: sometimes one of dreams, sometimes one of family, most times one of necessity. Maybe life itself is impossible. But heroes do impossible things.

I am in the business of heroes, writing about capes and cowls, shields and swords. But I am also in the company of heroes everyday – in streets, in my home and in my dreams, for this I believe.