My daughters often play a game they have dubbed “super rescue girls.” Basically it is a game of an imaginary thing which is in distress, that they then go and rescue. So after a game of “super rescue girls” my daughter Elizabeth looked at me and lamented, “I wish I was a real super hero.” She was very serious when she said this. Knowing that she would never have super powers, yet also knowing that she is wonderful for who she is all the same, I asked her, “What would you do with your super powers?”
“I would help people, of course.”
What a stunning conclusion. Not to fly, or to be able to turn back time like superman, or save the world, but to just help someone — one person at a time. Then it hit me. To help someone is within my power. I can do that.
I can be someone’s superhero. You can be someone’s superhero. Even the most introverted of persons still have effect on an astounding amount of people. We have the power to influence others, for positive or negative, for good or for bad. I may not be anyone’s superhero other than my children’s, and maybe I am that only for the time that they are little, but I do have the power to come into contact with people on a daily basis. Not many but a few. I have contact through my blog. It all has a ripple effect. — The smile and eye to eye contact I give a cashier instead of just exchanging merchanise for money and going about my day, the fast food employee I say “blessings” to instead of “thank you.” It all has a ripple effect. Much like Dr Suess’ Because a Little Bug Went Ka-choo. If you don’t know the story of this little bug, it is simply a tale about how a bug sneezed and the ripple effects of his sneeze. In the end the whole town becomes a circus, all because of the little bug’s sneeze.
Although this ripple effect ended in chaos, the same thing can happen with kindness, goodness and the hero super power of helping. Currently, my life is pretty much drama free. But it has not always been this way. I can empathize with a hurt that feels like you are going to die if it does not stop. I know emotional pain so deep, that it racks the very essence of your soul. During that time, I could not see how I could ever have the super hero power to simply be helpful. But in simple conversation I have the power to be positive or negative in regards to life. I can offer them “blessings” or “curses.”
I can not fly, or leap buildings in a single bound, but I can “pay if forward.” There is a small group I am involved in. At our last meeting we did not even get to our studies simply because there was so much emotional pain and hurt in the room. I felt so powerless to do anything but pray. I don’t have a magic wand that will make everything better, and many of these people are hurting in areas I have no experience in. But I can be there for them and listen. I can be a friend. I can help with babysitting. I can help them feel human and validate them. I can let them know I care — that is a big one.
The world often seems so full of hurt and pain that I feel I can not make a difference. But like the little boy who was throwing starfish back into the ocean, “it matters to this one.” It matters to the ones I touch with kindness. It matters to them greatly. I have a friend who is so full of emotional pain, that she can not fathom why anyone would even smile at here as they pass her in the grocery store, much less be speak words of kindness to her. There are people who are hurting that intensely. You pass them everyday in your walk of life. You have the power to bestow kindness on people. You have the power to help the hurting. The only question is do you? It is easy to keep to yourself in your own little bubble. That is a very safe place to be. It is an easy place to be.
Intentionally smile at someone today. You never know, it could make their day. Be a superhero to someone. In the words of my daughter, all it takes to be a superhero is “to help someone.”