I love to watch movies with superheroes and heroines. No matter how desperate things get, nothing is required of me. Someone with super powers will come along and save me, along with the rest of the planet.
Unlike superheroes who do the work for us, the wise teachers of the past and present don’t “save” us; they teach us how to grow into a people who can “save” ourselves. They model for us things like awareness, discernment, compassion, shadow work, and a growing love and inclusivity of others. These qualities require constant vigilance, practice, and a willingness to sacrifice self-centeredness.
While watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary about Fred Rogers, I found myself taking notes. I was moved by his gentleness and honesty, especially with children. One comment that found its way to paper was Mr. Rogers’ invitation to “make goodness attractive.”
In contrast to Mr. Rogers’ statement is an October 3, 2018 article written by Adam Serwer, a political staff writer for TheAtlantic. Entitled “The Cruelty is the Point”, Serwer suggests that for many in this country finding pleasure in the suffering of people they hate and fear has become a bonding mechanism that fills the vacancy of cultural loneliness.
It is no secret that our world is struggling for its very survival while we humans determine the very nature of our species. Superheroes will not save us. Nothing will change until we realize that we are the game changers and that goodness can be found within us.
As 2019 approaches, can we envision a world where we each find pleasure in “making goodness attractive” and together be the super power we are waiting for.