There was once an idea to bring together a group of remarkable people, so that when we couldn’t protect the Earth they would, or so goes the premise for the Avengers. I’m sure that it’s phrased differently in the first movie, but the idea is one that permeates through literature, through stories, all through time.
An honorable soul does the right thing by their community. They lay down their lives so that others might live. We write these stories, absorb these stories because that’s what hope the world is. We hope that we might be those people, that when we’re beyond terrified, when we’re enraged, lost, hopeless, that there might be that last spark within us that spurs us on to great deeds.
For we don’t want the Avengers to protect us, we want to be the Avengers.
That’s the appeal, that we will fight, we will sacrifice, but it will be for the greater good and we will be rewarded for it. There’ll be cheers, drinks and occasionally, shawarma. That our losses will be for someone else’s benefit, that they’ll have some meaning, so that the universe doesn’t seem so cruelly random.
I want to believe that I would be that person. That the threat of my anxiety, that panic that often overwhelms, would be cast aside and I could save the people I needed to. That I would be striding into the burning building and not curled up on the street outside.
These stories tell us that heroes were once us, that we can be heroes ourselves. Gods among men.
The underlying truth of it is, we might never be those people and we’re grateful for that. For all that we might want to be the heroes, we don’t always want to be the people that make those sacrifices. There’s an inherent selfishness that ensures that these stories remind us that we are grateful for our dull existences.
We like being mortal, and often, we like being ordinary.
We like the rooves over our heads, our warm beds, and the loved ones, who wait for us to come home at the end of the day.
We don’t like being vulnerable. That takes a courage and strength that most of don’t have, we struggle letting others in and admitting our faults and weaknesses.
It’s why we dream of heroes.
So that one day we might be something more.
P.S. Saturday is almost here and honestly I’m so excited I can’t quite vocalise it! This post is vaguely related to what’s coming up (start the theories now!), in a very lateral sense. So make sure you check back in on Saturday to see what’s coming up!
P.P.S. I’ve now have a dedicated email for this blog, so if you don’t feel comfortable commenting, you’re always welcome to email to discuss anything I’ve raised at email@example.com.