Seldom one comes across a story that makes something inside you feel alive. Tonight such a story made me feel that way. It felt like someone had personified Hope, Sacrifice, Wisdom, Courage, Nobility, Compassion and Ability of the epitome of what humanity will ever have to offer. Suitably, people who symbolized these in medieval times were called "Knights".
All right, I believe there are people in this world who don't have a superhero (or maybe several) that they would idolize. Not to forget plenty who haven't read their comics or watched their animation, and more recently not been much of their movie adaptation viewers either. I am not one of them, no offense. I am an apt follower of all 3 of them, and would grab hold of an opportunity with either at the first chance I get. And probably what this story so amazingly stirred inside me was the real reason why I always liked the concept of someone 'Saving the Day (or Night)'. Ofcourse, I always wanna be the Superhero doing that.
We face the so-called forces of Good and Evil everyday in our lives. From the smallest good deed to the worst crime. I also know that when we discuss perspective of Black and White, there are as many acts in shades of Gray as there are in the absolute extremes. Some crimes are heinous, some efforts divine, and there are many which will always be a matter of which way you look at it. But sometimes being so wise and realistic, isn't what you gain strength from.
We all need something to believe in, something that out conscience can treat as an example to evaluate our own actions by, something that fills the void of what's the right thing to do. Religion, Gods and Prophets are one such source of faith and belief. Other set is that of Legends. Legends that have stories told of them in epics, in folklore and nowadays in the media I mentioned before. It doesn't matter if the real story behind the hero was that of mistakes and some wrong choices. But what is left for generations to remember (and this always happens) is how loudly did his actions say what he achieved. Legends are Immortal. And for something to survive such a long span of existence, it will be made an example of.
Nowadays superheroes are portrayed more human than ever. They are portrayed with the human traits that will be expected of any human like selfishness, glorification, self-righteousness, dilemmas. But the inspiring part of this portrayal is, they never win without admitting to the fault of their ways and always work to make a better choice next time. To me that's as perfectly human any hero will ever need to get. That's what I like to believe in when I think of what I would do if I had all those extraordinary abilities that are depicted so often. That's who I like to turn to when I feel that the problem is beyond me.
Mostly always, being a Hero means making the Hard Choices. Do you give up or not? Do you let things go or not? Do you kill or not? And someones Hero, might be someones Villain. Indian mythology is filled with instances of such antagonists, who were shown to be there, just for the sake of being defeated by the protagonist, for there to be a moral to the story. But could a selfish, powerful monster, might have been a Good King to his people? Could a Thief who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, might have been the nightmare of hard earning people? Still Heroes become heroes when they are viewed beyond such perspectives. What we see as a Hero is an idea of what a Hero that person can be.
So what does a fictional Superhero do to be deemed worthy of its existence in our beliefs? He makes us remember that maybe we haven't been wrong about the beliefs handed down to us through million of years. He makes us believe that ever under the most adverse conditions, we can make the right choice and still survive to talk about it. He paints a rosy picture of idealism in our minds, that however tainted it becomes with our logic as we grow, the tint of the color will always be there.
Superheroes make us Believe that we can be More than what we expect ourselves to be.