As children our imaginations tend to run wild. Our dolls and G.I. Joe’s take on a form of life, our back yards become our battlefields, and our favorite television shows are reenacted with us playing the roles of our favorite characters. As children our dreams for the future are built on those imaginations. As a child my imagination turned me into a 3 foot, 2 inch superhero.
Growing up I remember having my most desired blue blanket tied around my neck, hanging down my back, as my cape. With that cape I transformed into a superhero. My siblings and I would run around in our playground saving the world from the evils that haunted them. We called each other the fantastic four. Each of us had a unique power. Sometimes, when the mission was too big for the four of us, allies from our block would join us on our missions against the enemy. Those many afternoons spent in our backyard made each of us heroes.
The definition of a hero is a person “distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, and strength; a champion, someone who fights for a cause, honored for outstanding qualities.” As a child, I perceived many of these qualities on television shows and in my brothers’ favorite comics. But as grew up, so did my outlook on life. I no longer saw these qualities in fictional characters but in individuals around me, especially my parents. My parents were a very influential part of my life. They both worked long, grueling hours. My father worked at an international airport as security supervisor. He made sure that everyone in the airport was safe, and that no harm could come to anyone. My mother on the other hand, worked at a nearby beauty salon. She recommended hair products to prevent damage to their hair by keeping it strong and healthy. They both used what they knew best to help others. In my eyes, my parents will forever be heroes.
The qualities of a hero don’t refer to the physical aspects, such as the ability to punch through a wall, but our inner strengths. We all have our own purpose in this world, and with that we bring our own power. We use you our powers in different ways, whether as lawyers, athletes, firefighters, or simply librarians, we all are making a difference, we are fighting for a cause. I never believed that people were chosen to be heroes, but that the choices we make as we grow up give us the chance to be a hero.
It’s been years since I last had my cape hanging down my back, but my desire to become a superhero has never died. It took me a few years of maturing to finally understand that my cape was simply an accessory. The cape never made me the superhero I imagined; it only gave me the ‘ideal’ image. We all strive to be all heroes; each one has our own power. This I believe.