Everyday as we stroll home from daycare, my son hangs out of the side of his stroller to spot his next target. His hand goes out, smile across his face as he waits for just the right moment to say “hello” and high five each passerby. It never ceases to amaze me how many ignorant people leave my son hanging as he tries to high five them and don’t respond back with a hello. He simply responds “I missed it!”
You didn’t miss, buddy. They did.
As human beings, we wear our emotions on our sleeves and learn at a young age how to read facial expressions and body language. It’s a great power to be able to understand and relay emotion without saying a word, but one that we don’t use nearly enough. We are often so absorbed by what is going on in our own lives that we fail to think about how we affect the world around us.
So when I look at my son innocently trying to engage with every single person he sees, I am reminded that “with great power comes great responsibility.” If we continue to ignore his hand, his smile, his upbeat and welcoming ‘hello’ because we’re too busy or important or self-absorbed, his powers may be lost before he even knows how super he can be.
So what are these amazing superpowers we humans have, you ask? Limitless, indomitable powers like kindness, patience, politeness, sincerity, and humor to name a few. We can’t fly, we don’t have X-ray vision, and we can’t stop a moving train, but don’t underestimate the power of simply being human.
Consider how often you use those powers in a given day. In this great network of superheroes we call the human race, how often does someone use these powers on you?
Think about all of the people you encounter on a daily basis. Is it the barista in your neighborhood coffee shop who greets you with a smile, knows your name and regular order, and gets you on your way even when you’ve had the morning from hell? How would your day be without that person? That simple gesture that gives you a boost to get you through the morning might just help you channel your powers later to give a boost to someone else’s crappy day.
We have the ability to make a choice on how we are perceived by the world in each and everything we do. And we have the ability to wake up each morning and make better choices than we did the day before. We have the power to forgive, to change, to grow, to believe. How super does that make you feel?
I call unto you now to unleash your inner hero! Pay it forward! Give your coworker a good laugh when they are barely holding it together. Hold the goddamn door open for the person behind you! Help the old lady across the street. Pick up that thing that the person in front of you dropped and run after them. Let the person with two items go in front you of at the grocery store when you have a full cart. Smile at everyone you pass throughout the day. Say “thank you” to everyone that does something nice for you.
That’s what my son does. Even in the face of busy adults who ignore him and snot-nosed kids who think they’re too cool. Every single day, he puts out the purest, most unstoppable show of humanity the world has ever seen. And every single day, his greatness reminds me that the world is an amazing place, and that superheroes are all around us. We just have to try harder to see them.