Copyright – Yale Stewart
We at Modern Myth Media send our heartfelt condolences to the victims, families, and all those who were affected by today’s tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
Nearly five months ago exactly, I sat down to write an op-ed about the tragedy that occurred in Aurora, Colorado. I will never forget the feelings I had in the days following. The last thing I could imagine was that five months later I would be writing about an even worse event. How could it get worse? Is there really that much evil in this world? The answer is: I truly don’t know.
Horrible events like these instantly put our lives into perspective. This time of year our society is wrapped up in the holidays. Christmas shopping, holiday parties, or stressing over spending time with relatives that we don’t like, no matter what it is, it dominates our consciousness. We get so wrapped up in a date on a calendar that it’s easy to lose focus.
Just a few days ago, my fellow MMM gentlemen and I were giving our opinions and critiques of the latest superhero news. We are a passionate group of people who care very much about characters we have loved and looked up to since our earliest childhood days. I’m sure the same can be said for a lot of you that are reading this right now.
Millions of people around the world love superheroes. We are drawn to what their stories offer us. They give us an escape from the world around us. They give us feelings of strength when we feel weak. They inspire us to find the best within ourselves and share that with the world. They show us what it is like to be a hero. Unfortunately, not everyone reads comic books or likes superhero movies. Unfortunately, those of us that do lack superpowers or the resources and means to prevent tragedies like the ones in Aurora and Newtown from happening.
The truth is we shouldn’t need superheroes. We created them out of a desire to see ourselves reach our full potential if all the rules of science and logic were thrown out. Using a superpower to save thousands of lives is not as powerful as using your heart to save one life. That is something anyone can do. A hero can be anyone. Unfortunately, I think we forget that from time to time.
Our society is cynical and selfish as ever. Without a doubt there are many people who have the best intentions and contribute great things to the world around them. However, its days like today that prove that it’s not enough. We are not doing enough for each other. There are not enough heroes. Will there ever be enough? I truly don’t know.
I don’t have the answers or a plan for what we need to do going forward. There is no easy answer. Maybe if we talked more face to face and not with our thumbs we could see when someone else is hurting. Maybe if we made it a point to take just one day out of our year to put someone else first before ourselves, it could make a difference. Maybe nothing will work. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.
What would these superheroes we have looked up to since we were kids do if they were faced with similar challenges? Wouldn’t they keep fighting? Wouldn’t they keep trying? If we can make imaginary people do it, why can’t we do it ourselves? How many more tragedies like this need to occur before we come together and try to do something about it?
The 30 years I have lived on this planet I have been witness to some of the most horrible things imaginable. But I have also been witness to some of the greatest things imaginable. Our species has so much potential despite our repeated attempts to take it for granted and destroy each other for no reason whatsoever.
No matter what anyone says, all we have is each other. There’s only one set of human beings in this world. We are the only ones that can change anything. We will never be able to prevent all the bad things from happening to our fellow man but there’s no reason we can’t try.
There’s a quote from a Batman comic that I feel rings true for the message I am trying to convey and today’s events.
“That’s what you hold on to. That’s what you can do for other people. You can give them safety. You can show them they’re not alone. That’s how you make the world make sense. And if you can do that, you can stop the world from making more people like us. And no one will have to be scared anymore.”
I truly hope that I’m not writing another op-ed like this in five months.