This I Believe

Alexis - Lake Forest, Illinois
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

Lessons Learned from Spider Man

I believe in Spider-Man. There, I said it. I feel like a slight geek saying it, but it’s true. Now, before I go on, let me get one thing straight. By saying I believe in Spider-Man, I don’t believe there is a real Spider-Man flying around New York City, the way a little kid believes there is a real Santa Claus.

Rather, I believe in what Spider-Man has taught me. Kind of like the way someone remembers that if they be good, they will be rewarded–long after they stop believing in Santa. It’s amazing how much you can learn from a spandex-wearing, wall-climbing, web-spinning arachnid-human. Three major points make up my Spider-Man philosophy.

Point One: I believe that there is a hero in all of us. By “hero”, I don’t mean a high-flying, cape-wearing, citizen-saving, villain-defeating superhero. The little things we do every day for each other are in their own way heroic. When you hold open the door for the guy behind you, you are being heroic. When you smile and say good morning to the brown-nose across the hall, you are being heroic. When you vacate your seat on the bus in favor of the elderly woman with the bag of groceries, you are being heroic. When the cashier at the gas station gives you too much change, and you say something, you are being heroic. I classify heroism as not great courage, but willingness to put other’s needs before your own. Heroism takes sacrifice compassion, integrity, and empathy. I don’t think being a hero takes a great deal of sacrifice, or compassion, or integrity, or empathy. Having a small amount of these makes you a hero every day.

Point Two: I believe that with great power comes great responsibility. This is true in everyone’s life, right from the start. As you learn to talk, you have newfound power, but you also have a responsibility as you get older, not to say anything “bad” or hurtful to to others. When you learn to drive, you have a responsibility to drive safely. When you get your first promotion, you have to learn to deal with a more demanding job with a greater amount of people who report to you. Think about it for a second: with every power you get in life, there is also a certain amount of responsibility that comes with it. This mantra does not just apply to Spider-Man.

Point Three: I believe that you can always hold on a second longer. Life throws us challenges, and every challenge requires perseverance, dedication, and a certain amount of guts. Never just quit. No matter how attractive it looks, quitting gets you right back where you started. Do you really want to waste all your effort for nothing? There is truly no where to go but forward. Might as well finish what you’ve started, and see if you can finish it well. Keep Spider-Man in mind. He never gives up. No matter how intimidating the bad guy is.