In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Real Life Superheroes

Imagine yourself walking down a busy street in New York city, people pressed up against you everywhere you turn. One second you are beside a classy businesswoman, which you don't mind because she is wearing a really nice perfume, and the next second you are face to face with a bearded biker whose only fragrance is a week's worth of sweat infused with a hint of leather. While you are busy smelling your way through the crowd, a thief snatches your purse and before you even realize what has happened, he disappears into the throngs. At this time of crisis, only one thought is going through your mind. Where are the superheroes when you need them?

While there may have been times when we thought our batman pjs and dress-up capes qualified us as real superheroes, most of us grew out of that stage before we hit junior high. However, a select few have held onto the dream and transformed themselves into......Real Life Superheroes Now this may sound like a joke but you know it is serious because they have their own website, complete with offical symbols, a superhero creed and even a superhero directory( Here is what their home page states:

Superheroes are not just in the comics or in the movies anymore. Out of the comics and into real life, conscientious citizens have created their own "Superhero" personas to make the world a better place. They have been dubbed by the media as Real Life Superheroes (RLSH). The Real-Life Superheroes is a grassroots movement that performs civic service in many different areas. Superheroes make an impact on their communities in civic activities, conducting public safety patrols, crime fighting, charity work and other pro social acts.

Real Life Superheroes don their masks and capes to inspire others to their cause. You can find these Real Life Superheroes out on the streets creating stronger and safer communities. The Real Life Superheroes believe there is a superhero in everyone and that we all can make a difference. Our main mission is to inspire everyday citizens to take action and stand up for what they believe in.

We are here for good and we are here to do good for others.

Superheroes are real.

That's right. Superheroes are real. And they are very serious about what they do. Meet Citizen Prime (alias Jim Wayne) who is actively involved in building the League of Citizen Heroes. His aim is to "prime" people to live up to their goals and to make their communities a better place. And just in case you were wondering, he has professional grade armor as well as "a host of accompanying gadgets based upon the mission."

There is also Phantom Zero. His identity remains a secret and his main activity is donating to charities and helping people find aid. This unknown hero claims the only weapon he needs is Reason. Now these activities may sound unworthy of superhero status, but donning the scary looking mask justifies it as such. Maybe its just me, but I think it is a bit paradoxical that someone tries to help people live better lives while looking like the Grim Reaper.

Apparently it isn't too hard to qualify as a superhero. The Green Sage is a high school biology and environmental science teacher whose superhero activity is teaching people about the environment while wearing a green robe. Direction Man, dubbed the "human GPS" helps lost souls find their way around New York's Times Square. Kismet simply dons a yellow shirt with a peace sign and a funny hat and makes a point of letting people know "that they can be awesome, and there are lots of ways to do so."

While the whole concept of Real Life Superheroes is a bit out there, I must admit that for the most part, these people seem genuinely dedicated to making the world around them a better place. They may not be saving the world from imminent destruction or flying faster than a speeding bullet, but they are taking it upon themselves to make change in the world. You know when they make the effort to make armor out of professional grade material that they are serious about what they are doing. Simple things like picking up litter, volunteering at homeless shelters and donating to charities can make a difference. We may laugh at their methods but perhaps we can see these Real Life Superheroes as a reminder to pay attention to the social injustices in our world.

So next time you see me, I just might be wearing a green robe with a grim reaper mask looking to tell you how awesome you are. Wouldn't that be super?

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.